For Children of Reentry, A New Focus on Family Ties

Mar. 23, 2014 / By

New America Media, News Report, Anna Challet

SACRAMENTO – While millions of children nationwide face extreme difficulties due to having parents who are incarcerated or under criminal supervision, State Senator Mark Leno thinks change is coming.

“The good news is that after many decades of building [more] prisons to incarcerate [more] of our citizens, and lengthening every sentence, and making [more] misdemeanors felonies, and of course selling it all under the auspices of being tough on crime, that it appears we have turned a corner,” he says.

Leno (who represents the state’s 11th District in the Bay Area) convened a policy forum earlier this month at the State Capitol to look at the impact of the criminal justice system on the families of those who enter it, particularly “children of reentry” – children and youth whose incarcerated parents have returned home. Sponsored by the California Homeless Youth Project of the California Research Bureau and the California Council on Youth Relations (a project of New America Media), the forum also explored what can be done to change the system in ways that will support current inmates, the formerly incarcerated, and their families.

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New America Media

New America Media is the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 3,000 ethnic news organizations. Over 57 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media outlets, the fastest growing sector of American journalism. Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in 1996, NAM is headquartered in California with offices in New York and Washington D.C., and partnerships with journalism schools to grow local associations of ethnic media.