Children with Incarcerated Parents Essay

1835 Words8 Pages
Juvenile Justice
The effects on
Children of Incarcerated Parents

Loretta R. Lynch
Capstone 480
Ms. Mel Jones


Today prisons are overcrowded and over two million Americans, male, and female are sitting in jail or prison, and two thirds of those people incarcerated are parents (U.S. Department of Justice). Approximately two million of these children are separated from their mom or dad because of incarceration of which these are the custodial parent. These children suffer from poverty, inconsistency in caregivers, separation from siblings, reduced education, increased risk for substance abuse, alcoholism and incarceration themselves.

Studies have shown that children who lack parental relationships
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The saddening fact was that in this family of five, three of her siblings were incarcerated for various crimes. Forty-two percent of men and woman today had a parent who was also incarcerated (U.S. Department of Statistics 2009). We know much more about incarcerated mothers than we know about incarcerated fathers. For example, over 70% of female inmates are mothers of dependent children under the age of eighteen. Almost 90% of incarcerated females are single parents and heads of households. According to some estimates, a quarter of a million children are separated from their parents each year by jail and prison (Glick & Neto, 1977; McGowan & Blumenthal, 1978; McPeek & Tse, 1988; U.S. Department of Justice, 1992). We do not have this kind of information about incarcerated fathers. The lack of statistics concerning fathers in prison may suggest that they are a forgotten group. Research has revealed that a father’s involvement in his child’s life greatly improves the child’s chances for success. Helping incarcerated fathers foster stronger connections with their children (where appropriate) can have a positive effect for children. What is needed is stronger training of social workers and prison personnel to help males with bonding and effective parenting skills. Prisons also need to work on reorganizing visiting spaces in prisons because they are not always
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