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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 12, 2021 02:14 PM
From: Representative Napoleon J. Nelson
To: All House members
Subject: Dignity for incarcerated Women: Placement & Visitation Requirements

Over 5,300 children in Pennsylvania have a mother incarcerated in a Pennsylvania state prison, with 72 percent of women having at least one child. During the past few years, Pennsylvania’s population of incarcerated women has increased by 4.4 percent, with 8 percent growth expected over the next five years.

This legislation requires the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) to place incarcerated mothers of a minor dependent in the closest applicable facility to their permanent address of record, and that this facility be no more than 250 miles from their permanent address. It also authorizes visitation by minor dependents for at least two days per week and contact visitation for mothers with low- or minimum-security classifications.

It is our duty as legislators to fight for the rights of our incarcerated constituents, and through our concentrated effort and support, I believe that we will be able to continue to protect the dignity of our incarcerated women with this legislation.