Children of Incarcerated Parents: The Child’s Constitutional Right to the Family Relationship

42 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2010 Last revised: 8 Jan 2024

See all articles by Chesa Boudin

Chesa Boudin

Criminal Law & Justice Center

Date Written: July 22, 2010

Abstract

This Article describes the vast population of children with incarcerated parents. The central argument reframes sentencing law and prison visitation policy through the lens of children’s rights, rather than the traditional frame of prisoners’ rights. It then suggests as a possible legal basis for children's right to a relationship with their convicted parents the First Amendment freedom of association and a due process liberty interest. The argument is developed through comparative analysis of current sentencing law and visitation policy in New York State and the federal system, as well as First Amendment doctrinal analysis. International law and practice illustrate that the status quo in the United States need not be the only approach.

Keywords: Children, Prison, First Amendment, Sentencing

Suggested Citation

Boudin, Chesa, Children of Incarcerated Parents: The Child’s Constitutional Right to the Family Relationship (July 22, 2010). 101 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 77 (2011)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1708682

Chesa Boudin (Contact Author)

Criminal Law & Justice Center ( email )

215 Law Building
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
5106644551 (Phone)

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