The Side Effects Of Mass Incarceration Essay

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The United States’ ever-expanding prison and jail population has brought about many questions regarding the side-effects of mass incarceration, namely involving the effects on the children and families from which those incarcerated are removed. Regardless of the perspectives on the appropriate position of incarceration in the criminal justice system, imprisonment disrupts many positive and nurturing relationships between parents and their children. In fact, more than 1.7 million children have a parent who is incarcerated in a state or federal prison as of 2007 (Glaze & Maruschak, 2008). These youths are at risk for developing behavior and school problems in addition to insecure attachment relationships. Parental incarceration, which may also be coupled with economic disadvantage and inconsistent living arrangements (Geller, Garfinkel, Cooper, & Mincy, 2009) can be an extremely difficult experience for children. It should come as no surprise that families with children suffer economic strain and instability when a parent is imprisoned, considering how each parent in today’s world typically needs to set aside time to earn an income to support their family, and most are unable to support their homes on one income. While it may be considered intrusive to some to intervene in the lives of children and families with incarcerated parents, research has suggested that there are positive societal benefits to intervening in the lives of incarcerated parents and their
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