NY Law Requires Parents in Prison be Housed Closest to Kids

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -
The Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons is displayed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

A new bill signed into law in New York will require incarcerated parents be housed in prisons closest to the homes of their children.

More than 100,000 children around the state have at least one parent in prison, many serving time in facilities several hours away from their families.

“Children should not be deprived of the opportunity to have a relationship with their parents because of incarceration,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, a Brooklyn Democrat who sponsored the bill.

In-person visitation lowers recidivism rates and is considered a critical factor in whether a family reunites after a prisoner is released, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, a Queens Democrat, said in announcing the legislation.

The bill passed both houses of the legislature with bipartisan support.