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Focusing on Kids with Parents in Jail

Filed by Michael Cross in Feature, Local News, News, Politics.
January 4, 2012

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A task force studying the children of incarcerated parents is releasing its recommendations for lawmakers in the upcoming session.

The biggest recommendation is asking that the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth be designated as the official state agency to help kids of incarcerated parents.

Representative Jeannie McDaniel created the task force legislation and says 3% or nearly 26,000 Oklahoma kids have at least one parent in jail.

“To know that we have this population why not see where there can be successes and where we can make sure they have the best foundation possible. Sometimes when you meet with these kiddos you feel like they live out of a back pack, you know, where they’re going to be from day to day, what school they’re going to attend.”

The task force also recommends community sentencing to reduce criminal risk factors, parenting classes and eliminating barriers to quality health care for the kids.

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