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NCJ Number: 201812 Find in a Library
Title: Plight of Children Whose Parents Are in Prison
Author(s): Barry A. Krisberg Ph.D.; Carolyn Engel Temin
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: October 2001
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Oakland, CA 94612
Sale Source: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
1970 Broadway, Suite 500
Oakland, CA 94612
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: News/Media
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper documents the scope and consequences of having a significant number of parents with minor children imprisoned, and ways are recommended for addressing this problem.
Abstract: The U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 336,300 households with minor children are impacted by the imprisonment of a parent (Mumola, 2000). African-American children are nine times more likely to have an incarcerated parent than White children; and Latino children are three times more likely to have an imprisoned parent than White children. These numbers increased steadily during the 1990's. The dramatic increase in the number of women inmates has had a particularly significant impact on this issue, since children are far more likely to live with their mother than their father prior to incarceration (64 percent compared with 44 percent). The problems of children whose parents are in prison, if not addressed, produce intergenerational patterns of crime and violence. If this problem is to be addressed, sentencing options must be expanded to be responsive to the needs of the children of incarcerated parents. This could mean changing sentencing provisions to allow for qualified, low-risk offenders to serve their sentences in non-institutional settings. Also, the child welfare system must accept increased responsibility for the children of incarcerated parents. Mechanisms must be established or strengthened to coordinate family reunification services with the courts and corrections agencies. Corrections agencies should implement policies and procedures that promote positive contacts between incarcerated parents and their children, and health-care practices must be reformed to provide an appropriate level of care for pregnant inmates. Finally, prerelease programs for inmates should include training for parental responsibilities and parent-child relationships, as well as ensuring that the basic family provisions of decent housing, employment, social services, and health services are accessible. 21 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Children at risk; Children of incarcerated offenders; Female inmates; Juvenile delinquency factors; Parent-Child Relations; Prerelease programs
Note: Downloaded August 28, 2003.
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