SOURCE: Fight Crime: Invest in Kids

Mission: Readiness

November 17, 2014 13:32 ET

Media Availability: 5,000 Law Enforcement Leaders Urge Funding for Home Visiting to Address 600 Percent Rise in Incarceration of Women

Renewal of MIECHV Is Vital Because 200,000 Women Are Behind Bars, and Almost Two-Thirds of the Women in State Prisons Are Mothers

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - November 17, 2014) -

WHAT: Citing a 600 percent rise in the incarceration of women during the past three decades, more than 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors are urging Congress to renew the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

Begun in 2010, MIECHV provides states and communities with funds to implement voluntary home visiting for expectant and new mothers who live in poverty. These programs bring trained nurses or other trained mentors into the women's homes to help them understand their children's emotional needs, make their homes safe for children, and respond appropriately to stressful parenting situations. They also help the mothers stay in school and then get jobs.

While much of the discussion around voluntary, high-quality home visiting focuses on its impact on reducing child abuse and neglect, the 5,000 members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids released a report -- "Orange is Not Your Color" -- that documents its role in reducing convictions of women and their daughters and the savings to public.

This is important because there are more than 200,000 women incarcerated in the U.S., and because nearly two-thirds of women in state prisons are mothers.

WHODelaware County (Ohio) Sheriff Russell Martin, national spokesperson for Fight Crime: Invest in Kids' campaign: "Orange is Not Your Color."

WHEN: Sheriff Martin is available for interviews in person in Washington, DC and by phone and Skype on Tuesday, November 18 as fellow Fight Crime members storm the Hill to urge support for MIECHV.

"The 5,000 law enforcement leaders who are part of Fight Crime make no apologies for locking up people who threaten public safety, but our streets will ultimately be much safer if we prevent more people from turning to crime in the first place," said Sheriff Martin. "We titled this report 'Orange is Not Your Color' because we'd all like to see fewer women in orange jumpsuits and many more on track for healthy, successful lives. Renewing legislation that supports voluntary home visiting makes fiscal sense for taxpayers and common sense for everyone who wants safer communities."

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is an anti-crime organization of nearly 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, and violence survivors. We take a hard look at the research about what prevents kids from becoming criminals and put that information in the hands of policymakers and the general public.

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