Representatives Kristin White Eagle and Stephanie Begay (D2) were joined by HCN Attorney General Scott Seifert at the Senate Committee on Human Services, Children, and Families hearing to provide testimony on Senate Bill 595, which if enacted, could terminate parental rights based upon incarceration.
SB 595 proponents believe that the termination of parental rights could guarantee greater stability for children in the form of “permanency,” which is to say the child or children could be adopted after the courts sever the connection with an incarcerated parent.
Opponents do not believe that the bill does enough to protect the familial relationship. Testimony by Rep. White Eagle pointed out that minorities such as Ho-Chunk tribal members are disproportionately charged and sentenced to prison. She also points to incarceration as holding a “captive audience” for rehabilitative programming.
The Ho-Chunk Nation opposes SB 595 and it’s companion bill, Assembly Bill 627.