House Minority Leader Jim Durkin has appointed State Representative Tony McCombie to the Task Force on Children of Incarcerated Parents. The Task Force was created through Public Act 101-480 and is comprised of one member representing each legislative caucus as well as several subject matter experts.
The purpose of the Task Force is to review best practices, available research, and current policies on the impact of parental incarceration on children toward formulating recommendations to reduce the harm to children upon arrest, the ability to visit parents in jails and prisons, and access to supports during parental detention and incarceration.
“Children of incarcerated parents face unique challenges to their emotional, mental and physical well-being,” said Rep. McCombie. “I look forward to working together with my colleagues and stakeholders to discuss those challenges and ways we can preserve parental/child bonds during this difficult time of incarceration of a parent. We already know that maintenance of familial relationships can assist detainees and incarcerated individuals in reducing recidivism as well as proper development of the child. This task force will examine how our state policies can better align with these research-based conclusions.”
Rep. McCombie worked across the aisle in serving as a Co-Sponsor of the enacting legislation to create the Task Force, House Bill 2649, and looks forward to using the taskforce as an opportunity to “brainstorm ways to translate research into policy recommendation in an effort to strengthen families and reduce recidivism.” The first meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for October 3, 2019. Members of the Task Force serve with no additional compensation and their report is due by December 31, 2019.