My Dad Was in Prison (3-2)
More than 5 million children, or one in 14, in the U.S. have had a parent in state or federal prison at some point in their lives, according to the Casey Foundation. Their numbers swelled by 79 percent between 1991 and 2007, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) figures, largely driven by tough drug laws and mandatory sentencing.
Children of color are much more likely to have a parent in prison. One in nine African-American children had a parent behind bars in 2008, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report (Pew also funds Stateline). One in 28 Latino children had an incarcerated parent and one in 57 white children did.
The arrest of a parent can be traumatic for many children. As noted in a comprehensive review of research on children with incarcerated parents, “The arrest and removal of a mother or father from a child’s life forces that child to confront emotional, social and economic consequences that may trigger behavior problems, poor outcomes in school and a disruption or severance of the relationship with the incarcerated parent that may persist even after the parent is released from prison.” (Hairston 2007)
Although studies have not consistently shown a causal relationship, three of five recent studies have demonstrated “an independent effect of parental incarceration on child anti-social behavior; [and] two additional studies showed an independent effect of parental imprisonment on child mental health, drug use, school failure, and unemployment.” (La Vigne, Davies and Brazzell 2008) To assist stakeholders who are involved with affected families, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) created the Children of Incarcerated Parents (COIP) project.
About the Guest
Chloe’s happy, bubbly, and beautiful… inside and out! She’s enjoyed family vacations to Florida, the beach, Disney world, and Washington D.C. Chloe also loves being involved in things at school such as chess club, the basketball and volleyball team, school plays and track. She went to a small rural school where everyone knew each other well.
One day out of NOWHERE her life was turned upside down! Her dad had been arrested for the unthinkable crime. Not only did Chloe have to worry about what her classmates and their families might think, but she also had to be strong at home for her mom and siblings. Chloe is one amazing young lady and has been through a lot. She is very involved in her church and youth group and she gives God the glory for getting her through the very difficult past five years. The crime, the pain, the restoration and the healing! Chloe and her family are very thankful for The InterNational Prisoner Family Conference where her and her family have met many wonderful people who have been through similar hardships.
- Having a Parent Behind Bars Costs Children, States
- Sesame Street reaches out to 2.7 million American children with an incarcerated parent
- Hidden Consequences: The Impact of Incarceration on Dependent Children
- Parent-Child Visiting Practices in Prisons and Jails
- Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership