This paper discusses three key policy areas regarding incarcerated mothers and fathers in Oregon: prison nurseries and community-based residential parenting programs; foster care laws; and parenting programs for incarcerated fathers. After reviewing background and best practices associated with policy implementation in each area, the paper explores ways in which policymakers, stakeholders, and advocates might address each policy area in Oregon, and suggests the formation of a legislative task force to address these issues. It emphasizes the need for increased policy attention to be focused on the well-being and attachment of incarcerated pregnant women by investing in the construction of a prison nursery or community-based residential parenting programs, or the construction of both to work in tandem with each other. It calls for a serious reevaluation of the lack of resources available to incarcerated parents with foster children, caretakers of foster care children, and child welfare workers. In particular, the paper advocates for legislation to create an exception to the 15/22 mandate for some incarcerated parents, as well as increased funding for transportation services for children who wish to visit their incarcerated parent. Finally, this report conducts a brief appraisal of parenting programs for incarcerated fathers in Oregon. The passage of Oregon’s House Bill 3503 B that established the Family Sentencing Alternative Pilot Program is noted, as well as the Mentoring Inside Out program for children of incarcerated parents in Multnomah County, and the Parenting Inside Out program. 94 references.
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