This bill would authorize the County of Riverside to establish a program providing comprehensive social services to children whose parents are currently or were formerly incarcerated.
AAP Positional Letter
June 4, 2018
Senator Scott D. Wiener
Chair, Senate Human Services Committee
1020 N Street, Room 521
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 3007 (Garcia): Children of Incarcerated Parents: Support Services.
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair Wiener:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports proposed legislation AB 3007 (Garcia), which would authorize the County of Riverside to establish a program providing comprehensive social services to children whose parents are currently or were formerly incarcerated.
The stress of being separated from a parent is highly significant in the life of a child. When the separation occurs because the parent is incarcerated, guilt, anxiety, shame, and fear further complicate the situation with short and long-term impacts on the health of these children. Children of incarcerated parents (CIP) are more likely to exhibit behavioral problems, have depressive symptoms, and have health challenges as young adults. Studies have found these children are more likely to commit crimes and become involved in the justice system. Researchers are just beginning to investigate intergenerational effects of adverse childhood experiences, but it’s possible that the trauma of having an incarcerated parent might echo through an entire family tree.
AB 3007 (Garcia) seeks to break that cycle by providing a combination of physical, emotional, mental and social support services in an after-school program in the County of Riverside. This program would be part of the county’s effort to curb intergenerational transfer of criminal behavior by providing support and services to the youth population whose parents are incarcerated.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide strongly support proposed legislation AB 3007 (Garcia) and urges an AYE vote. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Members of the Senate Human Services Committee
Honorable Eduardo Garcia, author
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne