Is there a school-to-prison pipeline? District Court candidates on what the system owes children

Yvette De La Guardia

The Courier Journal, together with the League of Women Voters of Louisville and the Louisville Bar Association identified court-specific questions for the candidates seeking election with the intention of helping voters get to know the judicial candidates in a way that is helpful in the voting booth. These questions were for District Court candidates.

We received responses from every candidate except Samuel G. Hayward, Jr. who is running in Division 15.

For More Questions like these read: What to know about the judge races in Jefferson County ahead of the May 17 primary

What accommodations do you think the system should make to ensure that the children of defendants are provided for in conjunction with the incarceration and/or sentences parents receive?

District Court, Division 4

Yvette De La Guardia

Yvette De La Guardia

Yvette De La Guardia

“It is well-established that children of incarcerated parents often experience trauma that can adversely affect their mental, emotional and social development. At the very least, the justice system should: 1) educate children, their families and caregivers about the adverse consequences of having an incarcerated parent. 2) Provide information on locally available services and programming. 3) Help facilitate access to the available resources.”

Lora Chisholm Holman

Lora HolmanLora Holman

Lora Holman

“This is an issue that would not be addressed by the judiciary as children of defendants are not before the Court. Our system allows for a person with legal custody of minors to seek assistance through Section 8 housing, food stamps or other benefits. If there is a reason that children of incarcerated parents need more assistance than other kids in single-parent households, the legislature would need to act to create additional programs.

“Probably, the only impact a Judge has on this situation is to weigh the factors to determine if a person should be in custody and act appropriately to not place an unnecessary burden on the defendant’s family while balancing the need for public…

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