Celebrating Youth with Incarcerated Parents

Celebrating Youth with Incarcerated Parents

13 Jul 2017

Osborne’s Youth Action Council (YAC) and Youth Experience Success (YES) programs celebrated their annual Achievement Ceremony at St. James’ Episcopal Church this June. Volunteer partners at St. James’ welcomed Osborne staff, families, and caregivers to their beautiful and historic building to recognize the youths’ achievements during the 2016-2017 cycle. The participants in these two programs all share at least one thing in common: they have a currently incarcerated parent or a parent that was recently released from prison. Osborne’s YES Program is a nine month, skills-building curriculum for youth ages 13 to 15, who have a parent who is currently incarcerated. The YAC is a group of 16 to 19 year olds whose mission is to raise awareness about the effect of parental incarceration on children and advocate for positive changes in the criminal justice system. At the ceremony there was a palpable sense of pride in the air for these youth, especially when listening to the amazing sound clouds both the YES and YAC members created on their own this year. One of the highlights of the ceremony each year is when the youth share what the program means to them. See their inspiring speeches below.

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Reconnecting Families on Father's Day and Year-round

Reconnecting Families on Father's Day and Year-round

19 Jun 2017

Over half of the men and women incarcerated in the U.S. are parents of minor children. To encourage family connectivity – a key factor in a person’s successful reentry – Osborne’s nationally recognized FamilyWorks program enables incarcerated parents to make, mend, and maintain relationships with their children through a comprehensive program that now operates in eight New York State prisons, Rikers Island, and at Osborne’s community sites. Our strengths-based, family-focused approach leaves people with the understanding that they have the right, the responsibility, and the capacity to meet the needs of their children and families. FamilyWorks is operated in collaboration with the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and includes Family Centers in visiting rooms and supportive services for children and families. Family Centers are child-friendly areas of prison visiting rooms where parents can bond with their children and interact with them more than they could sitting at a visiting room table. 

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Unite for Parole and Prison Justice

Unite for Parole and Prison Justice

05 May 2017

Osborne's Center for Justice Policy and Practice, in its work to increase support for people who are aging in prison, recognizes the urgent need for parole reform, as we have seen people qualified for parole repeatedly denied, usually based solely on the nature of their crime. Older people have the lowest recidivism rates of any age cohort in NY State and U.S. prisons, and pose almost no risk to public safety. Yet in 2015, the NYS Parole Board granted parole to only 20% of all applicants, and to only 17% of those aged 55 and older who had already served at least 10 years in prison. On May 10, Osborne is joining Challenging Incarceration, and many other organizations and advocates for Unite for Parole and Prison Justice–A Day of Advocacy and Action. The day will focus on urging legislators to create a more effective parole process. Below is a list of ways to participate with Challenging Incarceration in advocacy on social media, regardless of whether or not you will be in Albany.

 

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Mayor and City Council Speaker Announce Plan to Close Rikers

Mayor and City Council Speaker Announce Plan to Close Rikers

06 Apr 2017

On March 31, 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced a plan to close Rikers Island in the next decade. Read part of the Mayor's statement, watch the press conference, and find the full report detailing the steps that will be taken to close Rikers below: 

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Osborne Launches FamilyWorks Harlem

Osborne Launches FamilyWorks Harlem

27 Feb 2017

On February 27, 2017, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office held a press conference to announce the investment of $58 million into organizations that support youth and families to prevent crime. In total, #InvestInYouth grants will fund 100 community organizations in East Harlem, Central/West Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Lower East Side. Osborne is pleased to be a recipient of an #InvestInYouth grant as a partnership with the Harlem Restoration Project to provide services to families affected by incarceration. Osborne Association President and CEO Elizabeth Gaynes thanked the District Attorney saying,

“The Osborne Association is honored to partner with the Harlem Restoration Project to launch FamilyWorks Harlem designed to address the most serious risks faced by children and families affected by parental incarceration. We thank District Attorney Vance for this opportunity to work in such a vibrant and resilient community.”

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