The Louisville group Special Project has announced that it is partnering with the Jefferson County courts to create a pilot program to help lawyers and judges consider the potential impact on children of parents who are in jail awaiting trial.
T. Benicio Gonzales, interim director at the Center for Health Equity, helped spearhead a report that released a recommendation to help children, called a family responsibility statement.
The pilot program is still being worked out, but there will be someone - perhaps a social worker or public defender, who sits down with the arrested person and their family to ask standardized questions about any children at home, the income that person contributes to the family, if they take children to school and other questions that deal with how the parent fits into their family.
Special Project is trying to prevent children from developing negative health outcomes as a result of a parent being in jail. The group organizes art-making sessions for children and caregivers in the lobby of Louisville’s jail.