Children of Incarcerated Parents Essay

1814 Words 8 Pages
When a person becomes a parent, their role in life undoubtedly changes. The person must become a teacher, a guide, and a helping hand in the life of the child. Research has shown that there is a distinct connection between how a child is raised and their overall developmental outcome. John Bowlby’s attachment theory emphasizes the importance of the regular and sustained contact between the parent-infant or parent-child relationship (Travis & Waul 2003). Yet, what happens when the only physical contact a child can share with their parent is a hand pressed on the shield of glass that separates the two? What happens when the last memory of their mother or father was from the corner of their own living room as they watched their parent …show more content…
Children are forced to forfeit their homes, their safety, their public and self-image, and their primary source of comfort and affection (Bernstein 2005). A national survey found that almost 70% of children when present when their parent was arrested (Bernstein 2005). Researcher Christina Jose Kamfner interviewed children who had witnessed their mother’s arrest and found that many suffered from post-traumatic stress symptoms; they could not concentrate or sleep and had flashbacks of the arrest (Bernstein 2005). The majority of the children at the scene of an arrest are taken away in a police car which is more intimidating than to say if they were taken away in a child welfare worker’s car (Bernstein 2005). Many of these children (is no other family is available) are shuffled around in the course of an arrest; the hospital for physical examinations first, then the police station for appropriate , “paperwork,” then to a juvenile detention center and lastly, they are deposited at a foster home (Bernstein 2005). Anyone can vouch that the process of what to do after the arrest is clearly a traumatizing one at that. After the arrest, children wait anxiously for the level of the sentence that their parent has to face. In most cases, children are unaware of why their parent is being sentenced because they were unaware that their parent was involved in the crime. Carl, for example, only remembered
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