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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.R. NO.              
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE  RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A SYSTEM TO
    IDENTIFY AND PROVIDE SERVICES AND SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN OF
    INCARCERATED PARENTS. 


 1        WHEREAS, estimates suggest that more than 1.6 million
 2   children in the United States have a father in prison, and
 3   approximately 200,000 have a mother serving time in a state or
 4   federal prison or local jail; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, the number of incarcerated women is growing at a
 7   faster rate than the number of men, with a four hundred thirty-
 8   two per cent increase in the female prison population between
 9   1986 and 1991; and 
10   
11        WHEREAS, the increasing rate of incarceration of women is
12   particularly disturbing because it places more children at
13   risk; approximately seventy-five per cent of female inmates are
14   mothers, and many are often the sole caregiver of their
15   children; and
16   
17        WHEREAS, the likelihood that children of incarcerated
18   mothers will ultimately land in jail or prison is estimated to
19   be as high as eight times greater than the risk of children of
20   non-offenders; almost half of women in state prisons report
21   that someone in their family was at one time in prison or jail;
22   and 
23   
24        WHEREAS, the low priority often given to maintaining
25   mother and child relationships by prison administrators
26   contributes to family disruption and the children's social
27   alienation, many of whom may show hyperactivity, attention
28   deficits, delinquency, teenage pregnancy, withdrawal from
29   social relationships or retreat into denial; and  
30   
31        WHEREAS, although children of incarcerated mothers are
32   clearly at risk, much of the existing research on the impact of
33   incarceration has relied on self reporting by parents in prison
34   or the temporary caregivers and there are few reliable
35   statistics to establish how many children are affected, who
36   they are, or where they live; and 
37   
38        WHEREAS, because the child welfare and criminal justice
39   systems encounter many of the same families, it is imperative

 
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                                  H.R. NO.              
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   that they collaborate to maximize opportunities for the
 2   families and work together to develop a system to identify
 3   these children and provide gender specific services to support
 4   women offenders and their families; now, therefore,
 5   
 6        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
 7   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
 8   of 2000, that the Director of Human Services and the Director
 9   of Public Safety are requested to collaborate in the
10   development of a system to identify and track children with
11   incarcerated parents, to identify what services and programs
12   are currently available to these children, as well as identify
13   programs or support services that must be provided to meet the
14   needs of these children and families; and
15   
16        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Human Services
17   and the Director of Public Safety are requested to report
18   findings and recommendations to the Legislature twenty days
19   before the convening of the Regular Session of 2001; and
20   
21        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
22   Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Human Services and
23   the Director of Public Safety.
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28                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________