This bill would create a task force to study and develop recommendations regarding the obstacles faced by children of incarcerated parents, from arrest to reunification. The task force would have nine members, including the Department of Corrections commissioner, who would serve as the chairperson, the commissioners of the Administration for Children’s Services, the New York City Police Department, and appointees of the Mayor and the Council Speaker who would have relevant expertise. Within one year of the formation of the task force, it would issue a report with recommendations on how to improve services for children of incarcerated parents. The task force would cease to exist after the issuance of the report.
Int. No. 806
By Council Member Williams
A Local Law in relation to creating an interagency task force to be charged with studying the obstacles faced by children of incarcerated parents, from arrest to reunification
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. a. There shall be an interagency task force to study the obstacles faced by children of incarcerated parents, from arrest to reunification.
b. The task force shall consist of nine members that shall be:
1. the commissioner of the department of corrections, or their designee, who shall serve as chair;
2. the commissioner of children’s services, or their designee;
3. the commissioner of the police department, or their designee;
4. three members appointed by the mayor with relevant expertise in the area of children of incarcerated parents; and
5. three members appointed by the speaker of the city council with relevant expertise in the area of children of incarcerated parents.
c. The task force shall invite representatives of the New York state office of children and family services, the New York state department of corrections, and any other relevant state agency or state elected official, as identified by the task force, to participate in the development of the task force report pursuant to subdivision g of this section.
d. Members of such task force shall serve for a term of one year. Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. All members shall be appointed to the task force within 60 days of the enactment of this local law.
e. Members of the task force shall serve without compensation and shall meet no less often than on a quarterly basis.
f. No member of the task force shall be removed except for cause and upon notice and hearing by the appropriate appointing official.
g. The task force shall issue and submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the mayor and the speaker of the city council no later than 12 months after the effective date of the local law that added this section. Such report shall include recommendations in areas including, but not limited to: (i) arrest protocols for custodial parents; (ii) child-centered visitations and facilities at incarceration facilities; (iii) mental health supports and services for children of incarcerated parents; and (iv) support services for incarcerated parents and their children upon reentry.
h. The task force shall terminate upon the issuance of its final report.
§ 2. This local law takes effect immediately.