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Bill would allow children to spend more time with parents in jail

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has approved legislation creating a test program designed to help children spend more time with their incarcerated parents.

The program would provide transportation for children and their caretaker who live more than 50 miles away from their parent's prison for visits.

Two Missouri men's prisons and two women's prisons would be selected for the program's trial. Prisoners convicted of offenses where the victim was a child or were found guilty of child abuse would be excluded. The Department of Corrections would have to submit a final report to lawmakers on the program's effectiveness in 2017.

The measure is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Penny Hubbard, of St. Louis. The House voted 140-6 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate.

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