Children with Incarcerated Parents

1838 words 8 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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There is some evidence that maternal incarceration can be more damaging to a child than paternal incarceration, which results in more children now suffering negative consequences”. First, fewer correctional institutions for women means that mothers are often located far away from the homes of their children. Second, children of female offenders are more than twice more likely to be placed in foster care than are children of male offenders because children of incarcerated fathers typically remain with the mother. Incarceration can add a tremendous burden to the already stressful situation of not having contact with the family. Many inmates are placed not in the same vicinity as their families, and many families cannot afford to relocate close to a prison, in order for the incarcerated parent to stay involved with the family. Thus, there is limited interaction between parent and child. This is especially hard for female inmates whose prisons are usually not in the same state in which they live. The average frequency of visits, according to some accounts, is at the most once a month, maybe less. The only time inmates get to interact with their children is when someone chooses to bring the children to the institution. Even when children visit, it is common for the incarcerated parent to lose a sense of


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