Children of Incarcerated Parents: The Child’s Constitutional Right to the Family Relationship
Yale University - Law School
July 22, 2010
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Forthcoming
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: Children, Prison, First Amendment, Sentencing
Date posted: November 14, 2010 ; Last revised: July 10, 2011