The rights of the child

The Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents was written in 2003 by California's Nell Bernstein (journalist and author) and Gretchen Newby (a practitioner serving children or prisoners), outlining the principles needed to ensure the well being of these highly at-risk children.

Pillars is a partner of The San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, a coalition of social service providers, representatives of government bodies, advocates and others who work with or are concerned about children of imprisoned parents and their families.

The Bill of Rights

  1. I have the right to be kept safe and informed at the time of my parents arrest.
  2. I have the right to be heard when decisions are made about me.
  3. I have the right to be considered when decisions are made about my parent
  4. I have the right to be well cared for in my parent's absence.
  5. I have the right to speak with, see and touch my parent.
  6. I have the right to support, as I struggle with my parent's incarceration.
  7. I have the right not to be judged, blamed or labeled because of my parent's incarceration.
  8. I have the right to a lifelong relationship with my parent.