FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 443
97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES HUBBARD (Sponsor), ELLINGTON, CURTIS, PACE, MCCAHERTY, OTTO, MAY, SMITH (85), WALTON GRAY, COLONA, WEBB AND MIMS (Co-sponsors).
1362H.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 217, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to a pilot project for increasing children's access to incarcerated parents.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 217, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 217.145, to read as follows:
217.145. 1. Beginning January 1, 2014, the department of corrections, with the cooperation of the children's division within the department of social services, shall establish a two-year pilot project to increase the access children, ages newborn to seventeen, have to incarcerated parents who still have parental rights, except that a person who has pled guilty to or been found guilty of any of the offenses listed in subsection 1 of section 210.117 when the victim of the crime is a child or of child abuse under sections 210.109 to 210.183 shall not be eligible to participate in the program.
2. The project shall include the following:
(1) It shall cover four prison facilities, two that house women, and two that house men;
(2) The department of corrections and the children's division within the department of social services shall collaborate to develop and implement the project to increase the access children have to incarcerated parents who still have parental rights by:
(a) Providing transportation for a child or children and their caretaker for visits with the parent once a month. The caretaker shall be required to attend the visit; or
(b) Any other means available to increase visitation between children and incarcerated parents;
(3) The project shall focus on, but shall not be limited to, children who live fifty or more miles from the facility where their parents are incarcerated.
3. The department of corrections and the department of social services may promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section. Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010 that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536 and, if applicable, section 536.028. This section and chapter 536 are nonseverable, and, if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536 to review, to delay the effective date, or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after August 28, 2013, shall be invalid and void.
4. The pilot project shall be funded from existing appropriations or with any moneys specifically appropriated for this pilot project with the funds being equally divided between children visiting male and female parents.
5. At the end of the two-year pilot, the director of the department of corrections and the director of the children's division shall submit a joint report to the governor and the general assembly by February 1, 2017, on the efficacy of this pilot on both the children and the incarcerated parents as well as the cost of the program and shall recommend as to whether this project should be expanded to every prison facility and, if so, any changes which should be made to the program.