Missouri legislation would simplify prison visitation process for children

Friday, March 9, 2012 | 10:48 a.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri House members are calling for a pilot project to help women in the state's prisons have more contact with their children.

Legislation approved by the House would require the departments of Corrections and Social Services to start a two-year test program to provide transportation for children and a caretaker to visit their mothers in prison. The measure was approved Thursday on a vote of 126-23 and now moves to the Senate.

Lawmakers want a particular focus on children who live at least 50 miles from the prison where their mothers are incarcerated.

The measure is sponsored by Rep. Penny Hubbard, D-St. Louis. Hubbard has said children of incarcerated women already face significant obstacles and that cutting them off from their mothers is punishment for the children.

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