We help children Visit their incarcerated parent At No Cost To The Family
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the number of individuals incarcerated in prisons and jails in the United States had reached almost 1.6 million by the end of 2008. One in every 99 U.S residents is in a prison or jail (PewCenter, 2008). One in every 31 Americans is incarcerated or on parole/probation (PewCenter, 2008).
Approximately, 10 million children nationwide have a parent who has been incarcerated. 2.3 million of those children, or roughly one child out of every 30, currently has a parent in state or federal prison.
More than 5 million children in the U.S. have had at least one parent in prison, according to the most recent analysis of the issue, using the National Survey of Children’s Health.
The number of women incarcerated rose more than 700 percent from 26,378 in 1980 to 215,332 in 2014, according to a report from The Sentencing Project and figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Findings from a new report released by the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute that says the “evidence is overwhelming that the unjustified incarceration of African American fathers (and, increasingly, mothers as well) is an important cause of the lowered performance of their children” and of the racial achievement gap.
When parents are imprisoned, it is not only they who suffer, but also their offspring. The number of children affected has grown to the point that we can reasonably infer that our criminal justice system is making an important contribution to the racial achievement gap in both cognitive and noncognitive skills.
The report also says that educators should view criminal justice reform as a key part of school reform and join forces with reformers in the area of criminal justice.
Educators have paid too little heed to this criminal justice crisis. Criminal justice reform should be a policy priority for educators who are committed to improving the achievement of African American children. While reform of federal policy may seem implausible in a Trump administration, educators can seize opportunities for such advocacy at state and local levels because many more parents are incarcerated in state than in federal prisons. In 2014, over 700,000 prisoners nationwide were serving sentences of a year or longer for nonviolent crimes. Over 600,000 of these were in state, not federal, prisons.
Additional Resources and Further Reading
Annie E. Case Foundation. (2016). A shared sentence: The devastating toll of parental incarceration on kids, families and communities. [Policy Report]. Retrieved from www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-asharedsentence-2016.pdf
Department of Justice. (2016). The federal interagency reentry council: A record of progress and a roadmap for the future. [Report]. Children of Incarcerated Parents. Retrieved from www.csgjusticecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Children of-Incarcerated-Parents.pdf
Haskins, A.R., & Jacobsen, W.C. (2017). Schools as surveillance institutions? Paternal incarceration, system avoidance, and parental involvement in schooling. American Sociological Review, 82(4), 657-684. doi: 10.1177/0003122417709294
Justice Strategies. (2011). Children on the outside: Voicing the pain and human costs of parental incarceration. [Report]. Retrieved from www.justicestrategies.org/ sites/default/ files/publications/JS-COIP-1-13-11.pdf
Martin, E. (2017). Hidden consequences: The impact of incarceration on dependent children. National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/ 250349.pdf
Morsy, L. & Rothstein, R. (2016). Mass incarceration and children’s outcomes: Criminal justice policy is education policy. [Press Release]. Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved from www.epi.org/files/pdf/118615.pdf
Rutgers University. (n.d.). Children of incarcerated parents library. The National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated. Retrieved from www.nrccfi. camden.rutgers.edu/resources/library/children-of-prisoners-library/
San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership. (2005). Children of incarcerated parents: Bill of rights. Retrieved from www.docs.wixstatic.com/ ugd/73a5ec_83e372f34c154ffb99d9725a95ec1918.pdf
Sentencing Project. (n.d.). Issues. Retrieved from www.sentencingproject.org.
Shlafer, R.J., Gerrity, E., Ruhland, E., & Wheeler, M. (2013). Children with incarcerated parents: Considering children’s outcomes in the context of complex family experiences. University of Minnesota Extension. Retrieved from www.extension. umn.edu/family/ cyfc/our-programs/ereview/docs/June2013ereview.pdf
Urban Institute. (2015). Children of incarcerated parents framework document: Promising practices, challenges, and recommendations for the field. [Brief]. Research. Retrieved from www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication /53721/2000256-Children-of-Incarcerated-Parents-Framework-Document.pdf
Urban Institute. (2015). Toolkit for developing family impact statements: Children of incarcerated parents project. [Brief]. Research. Retrieved from www.urban.org/ research/ publication/toolkit-developing-family-impact-statements-children incarcerated-parents-project
Washington Defender Association. (2015). Parenting beyond bars: Preventing termination of parental rights for attorneys. [Power Point Presentation/ Handouts]. Retrieved from www.defensenet.org/ipp/incarcerated-parents rights/how-to-use-shb1284/Attorney%20tips%20%20Preventing%20Termination %20of%20Parental%20Rights%20for%20Incarcerated%20Parents%20PowerPoint. pdf/at_download/file
Wilder Foundation. (2013). Through the eyes of a child: Life with a mother in prison. National Institute of Corrections. Retrieved from www.voa.org/pdf_files/life-with a-mother-in-prison
Youth.gov. (n.d.). Children of incarcerated parents. Retrieved from www.youth.gov/ youth-topics/children-of-incarcerated-parents/tools-guides-resources
Zellerbach Family Foundation. (2016). Children, parents, and incarceration: Descriptive overview of data from Alameda and San Francisco county fails. [Report]. Retrieved from www.zff.org/knowledge-center/publications/CIP-Jail-Survey-Full-Report-FINAL-Mar-2016.pdf
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