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House proposals will allow children with parents in prison better access to each other

Marlo Lacen, KTAL

Two resolutions were moved through the House Criminal Justice Committee Thursday morning to improve relationships and contact between children of incarcerated people and their children.

Introduced by Representative C. Denise Marcelle of Baton Rouge, HCR22, and HCR24 intend to allow families to stay connected, although prison walls separate them.

House Concurrent Resolution 22 establishes family-sensitive policies for all facilities under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

The resolution would improve the experiences of 94,000 children in Louisiana who have a parent in prison.

The resolution outlines things like allowing the parent to wear regular clothes during visits with children.

  • Provide visitors with the requirements that must be met to facilitate a visit.

  • Ensure visitation rooms accommodate children with various learning styles and physical abilities.

  • Provide clean restrooms and access to sanitary napkins inside visitation restrooms.

  • Ensure that the intra-state location of children is considered when determining where the parent will serve time.

During the committee hearing, Rep. Marcelle said the resolution was created in conjunction with the department director and acknowledged that some facilities are already moving toward visitations that help maintain families rather than create greater separations.

House Concurrent Resolution 24 would permit incarcerated parents to attend certain ceremonies involving their children virtually. The resolution also directs the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to establish police no later than 30 days before the adjournment of the 2024 Legislative Session.

The resolution would allow parents to attend awards ceremonies, parent-teacher conferences, and graduation commencement exercises virtually at their child’s request.


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