Child Support and Incarcerated Parents

on Tuesday - October 30, 2012.

One of the many challenges people face upon release from prison is accumulated child support debt. The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement recently published a fact sheet titled "Realistic Child Support Orders for Incarcerated Parents" that highlights "opportunities to encourage incarcerated parents to engage with the child support system, to reduce or suspend orders during incarceration to avoid arrears, and to offer post-incarceration child support services."

The Realistic Child Support Orders for Incarcerated Parents fact sheet is available here

In addition, the National Reentry Resource Center recently interviewed OCSE Senior Program Analyst, Adrienne Noti, about  child support and incarcerated parents.

The Q&A from the Adrienne Noti interview can be found here. 

The Lancaster County Domestic Relations office provides answers to frequently asked questions about child support here

 

 

Voting Rights for Returning Citizens in PA

on Monday - October 22, 2012.

With Election Day right around the corner, you may be wondering whether your client or anyone you know who has a criminal record is eligible to vote.  

Basically, in PA, the law says that anyone with a felony who has been released from prison, or who will be freed by the time of the election, are eligible to vote. This is true even if they are on parole or probation. Only those who are incarcerated are not allowed to vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison.

Here is a link to more in-depth information about Pennsylvania's voting rights laws

 

 

 

 

Collateral Consequences Database launched by American Bar Association

on Tuesday - September 25, 2012.

Even after someone has served their sentence for a criminal conviction, they may be restricted from certain jobs or occupations, restricted from receiving certain government benefits, denied access to certain educational programs or types of housing, and remain under other penalties or consequences.  Returning citizens, their families and the professionals who work with them may not even be aware of or understand these restrictions or know which ones apply or don't apply to their situation.

The American Bar Association has created a new online, searchable database containing information on federal and state restrictions on employment, housing, education, voting rights, family/parental rights, occupational licenses, government benefits and other restrictions on people convicted of various crimes.  The ABA created this database as part of an effort to document the extensive and often confusing federal and state laws that impose "collateral consequences" of a criminal conviction. 

The ABA site defines "collateral consequences" this way:

"Collateral consequences are the penalties, disabilities, or disadvantages imposed upon a person as a result of a criminal conviction, either automatically by operation of law or by authorized action of an administrative agency or court on a case by case basis. Collateral consequences are distinguished from the direct consequences imposed as part of the court's judgment at sentencing, which include terms of imprisonment or community supervision, or fines. Put another way, collateral consequences are opportunities and benefits that are no longer fully available to a person, or legal restrictions a person may operate under, because of their criminal conviction."  (from the "User Guide / Frequently Asked Questions" document)

At this point, the database contains information on collateral consequences in 9 states.  They will continue to document and upload information on other states in the coming weeks and months.  

Access the Collateral Consequences Database here

PA Report on Children of Incarcerated Parents – Part 5 - Recommendations: Reentry & Reunification

on Tuesday - August 14, 2012.

The "Effects of Parental Incarceration on Children" report examined and made recommendations in four key areas in which children are impacted:

Arrests and Judicial Proceedings

Caregiver and Support Services

Family and Corrections Interaction

Reentry and Reunification

Here are the committee's recommendations related to Reentry and Reunification:

PA Report on Children of Incarcerated Parents – Part 4 - Recommendations: Family and Corrections Interaction

on Thursday - August 09, 2012.

The "Effects of Parental Incarceration on Children" report examined and made recommendations in four key areas in which children are impacted:

Arrests and Judicial Proceedings

Caregiver and Support Services

Family and Corrections Interaction

Reentry and Reunification

Here are the committee's recommendations related to Family and Corrections Interaction: