On Friday, March 3, Philadelphia Made a Momentous Change
Because of YSRP & Justice Lab's Work, DHS has Agreed to Stop Charging Parents for Incarcerating their Children
Check out the extensive coverage below in the Inquirer, Washington Post and The Marshall Project that highlight our work that formed the basis of this policy change, and brought national attention to Philadelphia for standing on the right side of justice.
And tune in this Sunday Night at 6:30pm to NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt featuring Kameelah, YSRP & the Justice Lab at Temple Law School’s collective work to defeat the unjust practice of charging parents for their children’s incarceration.
Since early 2016, YSRP and Justice Lab have been working to stop the harmful practice of collecting costs from parents of children who have been incarcerated.
Read more background about our work with Kameelah and the Justice Lab here. Yesterday, in advance of a planned City Council Hearing called for by Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, the Department of Human Services announced it would stop billing parents for their children's incarceration costs. This ends a nearly 20-year-old practice, and means that no new parents will be faced with what Kameelah has had to endure.
We are grateful to DHS for doing the right thing, but the work is not done. YSRP testified at yesterday's hearing to make clear that we will be monitoring the implementation of this new policy to ensure that no new families have to endure this double punishment.
The most important testimony at yesterday's hearing came from Kameelah. She brought this issue to our attention and has seen it through to a policy change. We are so grateful to Kameelah for having the courage to speak up about a practice that has affected thousands of Philadelphia’s families, and to the Justice Lab students for their commitment to uncovering and ending this practice.
The fight is far from over, and there is much work to be done to ensure that DHS holds to its promise of ending this practice once and for all.