Hidden Consequences: The Impact of Incarceration on Dependent Children
Date:  04-06-2017

An estimated 11 percent of all children face risks associated with having an incarcerated parent
From National Institute of Justice:

Children of incarcerated parents face profound and complex threats to their emotional, physical, educational, and financial well-being

Family members of incarcerated individuals are often referred to as "hidden victims" — victims of the criminal justice system who are neither acknowledged nor given a platform to be heard. These hidden victims receive little personal support and do not benefit from the systemic societal mechanisms generally available to direct crime victims, despite their prevalence and their similarities to direct crime victims.[1]

Children whose parents are involved in the criminal justice system, in particular, face a host of challenges and difficulties: psychological strain, antisocial behavior, suspension or expulsion from school, economic hardship, and criminal activity. It is difficult to predict how a child will fare when a parent is intermittently or continually incarcerated, and research findings on these children's risk factors are mixed.

However, research suggests that the strength or weakness of the parent-child bond and the quality of the child and family's social support system play significant roles in the child's ability to overcome challenges and succeed in life.[2] Therefore, it is critical that correctional practitioners develop strong partnerships with law enforcement, public schools, and child welfare agencies to understand the unique dynamics of the family in question and try to ensure a safety net for the child and successful re-entry for the incarcerated parent. Continue reading >>>