|Home > Publications > Incarcerated Parents Manual > Arrest|
|Home | About Us | Publications | News & Events | Issues In Depth | Healing Wall Online | Donations / Interns | Contact Us | Links|
What happens to my child?
The law does not require the arresting officers to let you make arrangements for your child at the time of arrest. The arresting officer may let you make a phone call to make sure that your child is with a responsible relative or close friend.
If you're unable to make a call, ask the first attorney assigned to you to get a court order allowing you to make emergency phone calls to locate your child and arrange for her care. If you do not have family who can care for your child, contact a trusted friend to care for your child or help you talk with your child.
What if my child is with me?
If your child is with you when you're arrested, the arresting or booking officer may allow you to arrange care for your child before being booked. If so, call as soon as possible:
What if my child is not with me?
If your child is not with you, let the school, day care center, or other caregiver know:
What if my child is not picked up?
If your child is not picked up by a relative or friend, s/he will likely be placed in an emergency shelter through the county Child Protective Services (CPS) agency. Welfare and Institutions Code §§300(g) and 306.
What if my child goes to CPS?
If your child is brought to CPS, act as quickly as possible:
CPS will release your child to a parent, guardian or responsible relative who poses no risk or danger to your child. Welfare and Institutions Code §309(a).
CPS will initiate an emergency assessment of relatives who come forward to care for the child. This assessment includes a criminal back-ground check, verification of their relationship to the child, and a visit to the home to ensure that the environment is safe. Welfare and Institutions Code §309(d).
If CPS does not place your child with a relative within 48 hours, CPS must file papers in court to make your child a dependent of the court.
BE PERSISTENT: Ask your public defender, chaplain, community services, or medical staff for help.
How do I get to Juvenile Court?
NOTE: Jail Mail Moves Slowly. You cannot depend on receiving hearing notices in time to get to court. Keep track of your child's hearing dates. Ask your lawyer and social worker to let you know of any changes in court dates. If you have an attorney be sure to tell her/him that you want to be present at the hearings so that s/he can ask the court to issue an order to have you transported to the hearing. If you are not represented by an attorney you should write to the judge and ask to be transported to the hearing. Cal. Penal Code §2625.
Try to get a transport order:
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
1540 Market St., Suite 490 San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 255-7036 email@example.com