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Children of inmates

The right of a male batterer to visit his child(ren) is discussed. Sections of this paper include: introduction; defining the issues; the problem of prison visitation determinations; rights versus interests; in search of a standard -- the court's choice, parent and child relations, and the nature of the crime; factors for considerations in prison visitation cases -- legal presumption, best interest, trauma to the child(ren), and supervision and transportation; the response of the community; and conclusion.

Do No Harm:  An Analysis of the Legal and Social Consequences of Child Visitation Determinations for Incarcerated Perpetrators of Extreme Acts of Violence Against Women Cover

These four pocket-sized cards are wonderful tools to remind law enforcement staff about the impacts on a child whose parents are being arrested or incarcerated. Sections of each card explain: child's perception of arrest; what to say; how children might act and how you should respond; and when arrest is a raid or domestic violence (DV) response. There is one card each for: Toddler—Ages 1 to 4; Preschool—Ages 4 to 5; School Age—Ages 6 to 12; and Adolescence—Ages 13 to 18.

How To Explain A Parent's Arrest To A Child Cover

This interim report details the first two years of the Urban Institute's evaluation of the family-inclusive case management component of the Safer Return Demonstrationa reentry program based in Chicago's Garfield Park neighborhood. The report presents the logic of the case management model and summarizes family members and formerly incarcerated persons experiences and perceptions, based on interviews and focus groups. In general, family members were highly supportive of returning prisoners and, despite a typically disadvantaged socioeconomic status, provided substantial material support to their returning family members, particularly housing.The implications of these findings for the Demonstration and reentry planning are discussed.

Sesame Workshop's initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, provides much-needed bilingual (English/Spanish) multimedia tools for families with young children (ages 3-8) who have an incarcerated parent. These FREE resources include a resource kit with A Guide for Parents and Caregivers, a Children's Storybook, and a new Sesame Street video; an Incarcerated Parent Tip Sheet; and the Sesame Street: Incarceration mobile app for smart phones and tablets, all of which can be accessed at

Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration Cover

This Listening Session allowed juvenile justice professionals, families, and allies to share their expertise and experiences regarding the mentoring of children of incarcerated parents. “The report summarizes participants' recommendations, ways to reach this unique at-risk population, and evidence-based mentoring practices that can serve the needs and support the strengths of children of incarcerated parents.” Sections following an executive summary include: research and background on children of incarcerated parents and mentoring; supporting high-quality mentoring relationships for children of incarcerated parents—program practices (i.e., mentor and youth recruitment, screening and intake assessment, matching, training, monitoring and support, structure and supports for mentoring activities, family engagement, external partnerships, and closure of mentoring relationships) and organizational infrastructure and capacity; and recommendations for practice and policy.

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Cover

Much has been written about the impact of incarceration on the children of prisoners. As with most familial and environmental circumstances, the extent to which the incarceration affects a child varies across individuals and situations and having an incarcerated parent does not predetermine a child’s outcomes. However, in general, incarceration of a parent(s) may increase the likelihood that a child experiences poverty, disruption in the family, and even a sense of shame stemming from the stigma others may attribute to the imprisonment of a parent.1 In addition, these children may have already experienced a number of risk factors that contributed to the incarceration of the parent(s), so the incarceration itself may enhance the negative impact the child is facing. The research on this youth population has pointed to negative outcomes for the children that are psychological, academic, and behavioral. A recent systematic review, though, found the incarceration of a parent to be related to a higher likelihood of antisocial behavior on the part of the children, but not a higher likelihood of involvement with substances, mental health issues, or academic failure.2

Experts from the National Institute of Corrections visited Houston as part of an initiative to make the Harris County jail more child-friendly. Over the past year, the Sheriff’s Office conducted a needs assessment on children of incarcerated parents in collaboration with Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical Branch. The Sheriff categorized his department’s goal to make the jail more child-friendly as “ambitious.” “We seek to make visitation more child-friendly, making a child-friendly space in the visitors’ lobbies, developing curricula and training deputies on interacting with the children when they visit the jail,” he said.

While this publication is a toolkit for caregivers and educators in Idaho, the information it presents is applicable to any state. Contents explain: the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission Children of Incarcerated Guiding Principles; the National Bill of Rights for Children of the Incarcerated; how to use this toolkit; feelings and emotions; 10 Tips for Caregivers and Educators … from Caregivers; most common questions a child might ask at every stage in the criminal justice process; 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member Is Arrested; 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member Goes to Court; 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member Is Convicted; 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member is Sentenced; 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member Goes to Prison; and 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member Is on Probation or Parole.

Parents Behind Bars: Children of Incarcerated Family Members: Answers to Children’s Difficult Questions Cover

"Children do not often figure in discussions of incarceration, but new research finds more than five million U.S. children have had at least one parent in prison at one time or another—about three times higher than earlier estimates that included only children with a parent currently incarcerated" (p. 1). This is an excellent report examining the prevalence of incarceration amongst parents and the associated consequences for their children. Sections of this report include: overview; key findings and implications; background; results for who experiences parental incarceration, children with an incarcerated parent are more likely to experience additional adverse events, and what other aspects of child well-being are related to parental incarceration, after accounting for other confounding influences; discussion; and implications. Appendixes include three tables showing children with an incarcerated parent by select measures, measures for children younger than six, and measures for youth ages 6-17; and "Programs Serving Children with Incarcerated Parents" which provides a description of the program, location, and website. "We need effective programs to mitigate the harm associated with having an incarcerated parent. Although in-prison training programs focused on parenting skills are common, few are focused on meeting the needs of children directly during the time parents are in prison" (p. 9).

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“Today, the parents of 1 in every 50 children in the United States are in prison. 1 Over half of those parents are serving time for non-violent offenses.2 The gains in public safety benefits stemming from incarcerating a record number of parents are dubious, but the potential adverse consequences for children are clear. More than 40 percent of parents in prison lived with their children before they were sent to prison and half were the main source of financial support for their children.3 Sending parents to prison contributes to single-parent households, damages family ties, and exacerbates chronic childhood poverty” (p. 1).

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