The Department of Corrections shall, in cooperation with an existing public body, develop:
Guidelines using the bill of rights described in subsection (2) of this section as a set of guiding principles for policy and procedure decisions that impact incarcerated individuals with children; and
Policy and funding recommendations with partners that adhere to those guidelines.
The bill of rights of children of incarcerated parents described in this section must recognize that each child of an incarcerated parent has certain essential rights, including but not limited to the following:
To be protected from additional trauma at the time of parental arrest.
To be informed of the arrest in an age-appropriate manner.
To be heard and respected by decision makers when decisions are made about the child.
To be considered when decisions are made about the child’s parent.
To be cared for in the absence of the child’s parent in a way that prioritizes the child’s physical, mental and emotional needs.
To speak with, see and touch the incarcerated parent.
To be informed about local services and programs that can provide support to the child as the child deals with the parent’s incarceration.
To not be judged, labeled or blamed for the parent’s incarceration.
To have a lifelong relationship with the incarcerated parent. [2017 c.447 §1]