Petition to Protect Children of Incarcerated Parents
The growing number of children with an incarcerated parent represents one of the most significant collateral consequences of the record prison population in the U.S.
Children of Incarcerated Parents are more at risk of becoming involved in the Criminal Justice system then other children whose parents never experienced an arrest.
These children are routinely overlooked and often times displaced to potentially unsafe environments following the arrest of a parent or caregiver. Lack of intervention on behalf of these children may be a contributing factor towards future criminal behavior. And the intergenerational incarceration for many of these families.
Children with Parents in Prison
- More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have incarcerated parents.
That is a 1 in 28 child.
- Approximately 10 million children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives.
- One in 9 African American children (11.4%), 1 in 28 Hispanic children (3.4%),
and 1 in 57 white children (1.8%) have an incarcerated parent.
- Approximately half of these children are under ten years old.
- Most prisons are not accessible by any form of public transportation.
In many cases this means children will never visit their parents.
Impact to Our Children and Society
- Parental incarceration increases the risk of these children living in poverty or experiencing household instability.
- Many of these children have been raised in households where criminal activity is acceptable.
- Parental incarceration is an “adverse childhood experience” by the unique combination of trauma, shame, and stigma.
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