Representative Mccrory Fully Commits To Children Of Incarcerated Parents
August 04, 2010
Hartford -- Since fiscal year 2008, Central Connecticut State University’s Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) has been receiving annual funding from the Connecticut General Assembly to administer competitive grants to providers who serve children of incarcerated parents (CIP). In 2009, when the State was under dire fiscal constraints, Governor Rell proposed eliminating the funding for the Department of Correction’s Children of Incarcerated program. But State Rep. Douglas McCrory (7th Assembly District) along with other legislative leaders were able to secure $1.4 million dollars in the General Assembly’s budget to continue the program through the 2011 fiscal year. “During tough economic times we (legislators) are always encouraged to make some serious cuts. But I was determined to win this battle. These kids have suffered enough loss,” remarked an emotional McCrory.
Connecticut has the highest incarceration rate in the Northeast, as well as one of the highest levels of racial disparity in its correctional facilities of any state in the nation. Statistics show that Hartford has an estimated 4500 to 6000 children – about one in every six children in the city – who have had at least one incarcerated parent. McCrory who serves on the Appropriations, Education and Higher Education Committees is an educator by profession and has seen how the incarceration of a parent affects child. “The impact of the ever-increasing incarceration rate is tremendous. It has a ripple effect –starting from the closest point – the family,” added McCrory. The Connecticut Commission on Children has found that children of incarcerated parents (CIP) are at greater risk of presenting social isolation, aggressive behaviors and poor school performance. These children are also more likely to live in Connecticut’s cities -- the State’s poorer and more disparate communities. IMRP analyzes data and research gathered through supported programs and outreach activities to gain a better understanding of these children and their service needs. The overall goal for IMRP is to utilize collected data and knowledge obtained to shape policy and intervention development around the issue of children of incarcerated parents.
Currently IMRP is collaborating with the Hartford Public Library and Everyday Democracy in a community discussions initiative with Hartford-area residents. After a series of small-group discussions and large-group planning meetings the groups developed several action ideas that range from advocating for new state policy to mentoring to conducting more community dialogues. A close-out group meeting is planned for October 2010.
Because of Representative McCrory’s dedication and commitment to this issue he will be working with local community organizations to host continued community dialogues to develop/enhance programs which meet the needs of the North Hartford neighborhood families. “I don’t want people to say that I’m supporting these children and their families. I want people to see I’m supportive,” said McCrory.
Reprinted with permission of the NorthEnd Agent's.
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