COIP Blog: April 2020

JS Blog Post April 21, 2020

The First COVID-19 Death of a Father in Federal Prison Highlights the Ongoing Struggle for Incarcerated Parents and Their Families

Riley Hewko, Esq.

Image: NBC News Headline.

On April 5th, 2020, NBC news reported on the first death of an individual housed in federal prison— Patrick Jones, a father serving time for a non-violent drug charge. The article reports that Patrick had not seen his youngest son, now 16, since the boy was a toddler. This is common as Bureau of Justice Statistics research shows that over half of parents in prison never get visits from their children while incarcerated. This is often due to common barriers that create family separation including distance and cost. Most parents are placed in federal prisons across numerous state lines and costs associated with in-person, phone, and video visitation make it nearly impossible to stay in touch. Read more »

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