DA Launches Program for Mothers to Serve Jail Time at Home
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has launched a
home-based alternative to incarceration to allow women, particularly
those with children, to serve time for their crimes.
will allow women who meet the program's criteria to serve their
sentences in their home, retain custody and care of their children, and
receive intensive treatment and supervision, Hynes announced Wednesday.
program has funding for 45 participants. Eligible participants must be
facing a minimum of six-months in prison as a result of felony charges.
"Today's announcement of our Justice Home Program is very
exciting because 45 Mothers will be spared jail and their children will
avoid the trauma associated with watching helplessly as their mothers
are carted off to jail," Hynes said.
The participants will be
screened for suitability and the JusticeHome staff will work with the
D.A.'s staff to assess each woman on a case-by-case basis.
D.A.'s office will provide Continuing Legal Education programs for
Assistant District Attorneys, who will be trained to make the initial
selection and referral to the screeners. The screening techniques will
also be added to the permanent training curriculum for new incoming
Assistant District Attorneys.
The program was developed in
partnership the Women's Prison Association (WPA), with the support of
multiple women's advocacy and legal groups.
experience demonstrates that women and families can make great positive
change when they are supported in their own homes and communities," said
Georgia Lerner, director of the WPA. "Drawing upon their own strengths
and community resources, women and families can become stronger and
function better while a woman takes responsibility for her crime."
Kay, senior strategist for policy and advocacy for the Ms. Foundation,
noted many women land in the criminal justice system as "a direct
consequence of the inequalities and dangers that women
disproportionately face, including poverty and sexual and domestic
"Programs that provide quality alternatives to
incarceration provide society with a cost-efficient and more humane
approach, enabling women to continue their family and care giving
responsibilities to the benefit of all," she continued.