Keeping Families Together & Paying Less To Do So

We have all heard of a sad story that goes something like this: a mother makes a bad choice and is now charged with a felony and her innocent children are faced with being placed in foster care and all that comes along with it. Now, imagine an alternative. Imagine a situation where this mother serves her sentence – while keeping her family intact.

In 2008, the Brooklyn District Attorneys office created a family incarceration program in order to provide an alternative for these mothers who would otherwise be incarcerated and separated from their children. Instead, these women have the opportunity to serve their sentences in their own apartment at Drew House with their children while being monitored and fulfilling the Court’s mandates.

The women at Drew House are homeless mothers who have committed crimes ranging from drug possession to assault. The New York Times recently published an article highlighting Drew House and the stories of some of its women. One such woman, Ms. Urquidez, is a 36-year old victim of domestic violence battling bipolar disorder who was charged with burglary in 2009. Drew House helped her turn her life around. Since entering the program she has overcome her drug addiction, learned how to cope with bipolar disorder, has a restraining order against her sons’ father, and has completed her court mandate to take part in the Drew House program. Ms. Urquidez is beyond grateful for the program and credits the program for providing her two sons with stability claiming, “They’re living life how a kid is supposed to live”.… <Read More>