Legislators focus on struggles of prisoners’ kids

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Vermont lawmakers are starting to focus on a problem that some say has been too little noticed until now: What happens to kids when their parents are caught up in the criminal justice system?

At least four bills filed at the Statehouse deal with different aspects of the problem. One calls on law officers to make sure children have some form of immediate care when their parents are arrested.

Currently, the lawmakers and children’s advocates say the state lacks basic data such as how many kids have parents who are incarcerated.

One estimate says that number could be as high as 4,000.

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