For years, women's advocates have worked to establish non-prison alternatives for mothers convicted of crimes, saying the lives of their children become so upended they often end up in jail themselves, says the New York Times. Yesterday, Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes, with leaders from various women's groups, announced a new program that will allow a carefully chosen group of women who plead guilty to felonies to remain in their own homes with their children.
Georgia Lerner of the Women's Prison Association, which will administer the program, known as JusticeHome, said she believed it would be one of the first in the nation. It start with 45 women screened by prosecutors in the district attorney's office to ensure they present little danger to the public. Hynes, seeking re-election amid criticism, has highlighted his record of promoting alternatives to incarceration. Yesterday, he repeatedly emphasized how wasteful prison was for those imprisoned and for taxpayers. “The correctional system is a gross misnomer — it corrects nothing,” he said. The Obama administration has been encouraging efforts to steer nonviolent criminals away from jail. Hynes said, and R. Gil Kerlikowske, director of President Obama's Office of National Drug Control Policy, has endorsed the new Hynes program.