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Children of inmates

Nearly three million children under the age of 18 have a parent in jail or prison, and millions more have experienced their parents being arrested. Due to their parent’s criminal justice involvement, a growing body of research indicates that these children often experience trauma, family disruption, and the loss of their primary caregiver, which can lead to financial hardship, residential instability, and an array of emotional and behavioral problems.

In response, several community-based organizations and government agencies across the country have implemented programs and practices aimed at reducing this trauma and mitigating the potentially harmful outcomes associated with parental criminal justice involvement. The Urban Institute and the National Institute of Corrections hosted a live webinar highlighting these promising and innovative programs and practices.

This webinar is four sessions: Parental Arrest Protocols—"Focuses on protocols that police departments can use to manage the arrest of a parent to minimize the trauma and harm to their children"; Family Impact Statements—"Focuses on how probation departments can use family impact statements in their presentence investigation reports to account for the needs of family and children"; Family-Focused Jail Services—"Focuses on a few family-focused programs and services that jail administrators can offer to parents in their jails to help them stay connected to their family and children"; and Successful Collaboration—"Provides information on how to collaboratively think about and address the many issues facing children of incarcerated parents, using a diverse group of interested stakeholders". Presentation slides for these sessions are provided. Access is also provided to four publications "that complement the webinar sessions and aim to guide criminal justice organizations and stakeholders in developing and implementing promising practices for children of justice-involved parents. The products include three toolkits on parental arrest policies, family-focused jail programs, and family impact statements, as well as a framework document that synthesizes what we have learned about promising practices and provides information about the context surrounding children and their families. The products provide key challenges and recommendations for the field and help organizations and stakeholders (1) understand the importance, scope, and effect of the issues facing children of justice-involved parents; (2) learn how to talk about these issues with their constituencies; and (3) appreciate how changes in practice can make meaningful differences by strengthening the relationship between children and their parents and reducing the trauma children experience when their parents are arrested, detained, and sentenced.""

Practices for Children of Incarcerated Parents: Arrest through Pre-Adjudication [Webinar] cover
Session 1: Parental Arrest Protocols

Nearly three million children under the age of 18 have a parent in jail or prison, and millions more have experienced their parents being arrested. Due to their parent’s criminal justice involvement, a growing body of research indicates that these children often experience trauma, family disruption, and the loss of their primary caregiver, which can lead to financial hardship, residential instability, and an array of emotional and behavioral problems.

In response, several community-based organizations and government agencies across the country have implemented programs and practices aimed at reducing this trauma and mitigating the potentially harmful outcomes associated with parental criminal justice involvement. The Urban Institute and the National Institute of Corrections hosted a live webinar highlighting these promising and innovative programs and practices.

This webinar is four sessions: Parental Arrest Protocols—"Focuses on protocols that police departments can use to manage the arrest of a parent to minimize the trauma and harm to their children"; Family Impact Statements—"Focuses on how probation departments can use family impact statements in their presentence investigation reports to account for the needs of family and children"; Family-Focused Jail Services—"Focuses on a few family-focused programs and services that jail administrators can offer to parents in their jails to help them stay connected to their family and children"; and Successful Collaboration—"Provides information on how to collaboratively think about and address the many issues facing children of incarcerated parents, using a diverse group of interested stakeholders". Presentation slides for these sessions are provided. Access is also provided to four publications "that complement the webinar sessions and aim to guide criminal justice organizations and stakeholders in developing and implementing promising practices for children of justice-involved parents. The products include three toolkits on parental arrest policies, family-focused jail programs, and family impact statements, as well as a framework document that synthesizes what we have learned about promising practices and provides information about the context surrounding children and their families. The products provide key challenges and recommendations for the field and help organizations and stakeholders (1) understand the importance, scope, and effect of the issues facing children of justice-involved parents; (2) learn how to talk about these issues with their constituencies; and (3) appreciate how changes in practice can make meaningful differences by strengthening the relationship between children and their parents and reducing the trauma children experience when their parents are arrested, detained, and sentenced.""

Practices for Children of Incarcerated Parents: Arrest through Pre-Adjudication [Webinar] cover
Session 2: Family Impact Statements

Nearly three million children under the age of 18 have a parent in jail or prison, and millions more have experienced their parents being arrested. Due to their parent’s criminal justice involvement, a growing body of research indicates that these children often experience trauma, family disruption, and the loss of their primary caregiver, which can lead to financial hardship, residential instability, and an array of emotional and behavioral problems.

In response, several community-based organizations and government agencies across the country have implemented programs and practices aimed at reducing this trauma and mitigating the potentially harmful outcomes associated with parental criminal justice involvement. The Urban Institute and the National Institute of Corrections hosted a live webinar highlighting these promising and innovative programs and practices.

This webinar is four sessions: Parental Arrest Protocols—"Focuses on protocols that police departments can use to manage the arrest of a parent to minimize the trauma and harm to their children"; Family Impact Statements—"Focuses on how probation departments can use family impact statements in their presentence investigation reports to account for the needs of family and children"; Family-Focused Jail Services—"Focuses on a few family-focused programs and services that jail administrators can offer to parents in their jails to help them stay connected to their family and children"; and Successful Collaboration—"Provides information on how to collaboratively think about and address the many issues facing children of incarcerated parents, using a diverse group of interested stakeholders". Presentation slides for these sessions are provided. Access is also provided to four publications "that complement the webinar sessions and aim to guide criminal justice organizations and stakeholders in developing and implementing promising practices for children of justice-involved parents. The products include three toolkits on parental arrest policies, family-focused jail programs, and family impact statements, as well as a framework document that synthesizes what we have learned about promising practices and provides information about the context surrounding children and their families. The products provide key challenges and recommendations for the field and help organizations and stakeholders (1) understand the importance, scope, and effect of the issues facing children of justice-involved parents; (2) learn how to talk about these issues with their constituencies; and (3) appreciate how changes in practice can make meaningful differences by strengthening the relationship between children and their parents and reducing the trauma children experience when their parents are arrested, detained, and sentenced.""

Practices for Children of Incarcerated Parents: Arrest through Pre-Adjudication [Webinar] cover
Session 3: Family-Focused Jail Services

Nearly three million children under the age of 18 have a parent in jail or prison, and millions more have experienced their parents being arrested. Due to their parent’s criminal justice involvement, a growing body of research indicates that these children often experience trauma, family disruption, and the loss of their primary caregiver, which can lead to financial hardship, residential instability, and an array of emotional and behavioral problems.

In response, several community-based organizations and government agencies across the country have implemented programs and practices aimed at reducing this trauma and mitigating the potentially harmful outcomes associated with parental criminal justice involvement. The Urban Institute and the National Institute of Corrections hosted a live webinar highlighting these promising and innovative programs and practices.

This webinar is four sessions: Parental Arrest Protocols—"Focuses on protocols that police departments can use to manage the arrest of a parent to minimize the trauma and harm to their children"; Family Impact Statements—"Focuses on how probation departments can use family impact statements in their presentence investigation reports to account for the needs of family and children"; Family-Focused Jail Services—"Focuses on a few family-focused programs and services that jail administrators can offer to parents in their jails to help them stay connected to their family and children"; and Successful Collaboration—"Provides information on how to collaboratively think about and address the many issues facing children of incarcerated parents, using a diverse group of interested stakeholders". Presentation slides for these sessions are provided. Access is also provided to four publications "that complement the webinar sessions and aim to guide criminal justice organizations and stakeholders in developing and implementing promising practices for children of justice-involved parents. The products include three toolkits on parental arrest policies, family-focused jail programs, and family impact statements, as well as a framework document that synthesizes what we have learned about promising practices and provides information about the context surrounding children and their families. The products provide key challenges and recommendations for the field and help organizations and stakeholders (1) understand the importance, scope, and effect of the issues facing children of justice-involved parents; (2) learn how to talk about these issues with their constituencies; and (3) appreciate how changes in practice can make meaningful differences by strengthening the relationship between children and their parents and reducing the trauma children experience when their parents are arrested, detained, and sentenced.""

Practices for Children of Incarcerated Parents: Arrest through Pre-Adjudication [Webinar] cover
Session 4: Successful Collaboration

“More and more transgender parents are fighting to protect their relationships with their children in the face of custody challenges. Yet they face significant obstacles. Parents who have come out or transitioned after having a child with a spouse or partner have seen their gender transition raised as a basis to deny or restrict child custody or visitation. Transgender people who formed families after coming out or transitioning have faced challenges to their legal status as parents, often based on attacks on the validity of their marriages … The purpose of this guide is to provide information to transgender parents and their attorneys to help them protect parent-child relationships and assist them when faced with disputes over child custody issues” (p. 5). Sections of this report address: protecting against challenges to the parental fitness of transgender parents—overview of the case law, recommendations for parents prior to transitioning or coming out to their families, and advocacy suggestions for parents and their lawyers if faced with custody dispute; protecting against challenges to the legal parental status of transgender parents—the legal landscape, recommendations for parents to secure their status as legal parents, and advocacy suggestions for parents and their lawyers if faced with a challenge to legal parentage; and who to contact if facing a problem. Appendixes provide: an overview of case law regarding transgender parents; and sample expert testimony related to transgender issues.

Protecting the Rights of Transgender Parents and Their Children: A Guide for Parents and Lawyers Cover

"Law enforcement agencies will find the information contained in this document highly instructive as they seek to enhance their policies and procedures and gain understanding about the trauma children experience when law enforcement carries out its investigative and arrest responsibilities." This publication is made up of two parts. "Concepts and Issues Paper": introduction; definitions; the number of children affected; legal responsibilities of law enforcement for children of arrested parents; and policy and procedures—overarching policy, interagency coordination and training, per-arrest planning, making an arrest, appropriate placement of a child, booking, follow-up visits, and documentation. "Model Policy": policy; purpose; definitions; and procedures.

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents Cover

"It has been widely claimed without documentary evidence that children with incarcerated parents (CIP) are six times more likely than other children to become justice-involved, and that seven out of ten CIP will become justice-involved. These undocumented claims are important because (a) they have been used to justify public policy and (b) they are potentially stigmatizing to CIP. We reviewed six sources using representative sampling methods in a variety of countries and providing eight estimates of the approached the “seven out of ten” claim, and the mean across estimates was slightly more than three out of ten (32.8%). Our second conclusion was that CIP were more likely than non-CIP to become justice-involved, but not nearly six times as likely – on average CIP were about three times as likely as non-CIP to become justice-involved. Third, of the three studies employing control variables, in only one of them were the results consistent with the idea that parental incarceration may be the cause of elevated justice-involvement in CIP. Because the “six times more likely” and “seven out of ten” claims are unsupported by the data and potentially stigmatizing, these claims must be abandoned" (p. 5). Sections of this report cover: unsubstantiated claims about the likelihood of CIP justice-involvement; stigma and the effect of claims about CIP; purpose of this report and research questions; methods; results—likelihood of CIP becoming justice-involved, comparing CIP and non-CIP on the likelihood of becoming justice-involved, descriptions of studies providing estimates of the likelihood of CIP justice-involvement, and parental incarceration as a potential cause of CIP justice-involvement; discussion; and conclusion.

Seven Out of Ten? Not Even Close Cover

This collection of handbooks is an excellent resource for anyone who cares for or works with children who have incarcerated parents. These “handbooks include information, tools, and resources, as well as vignettes and quotes to illustrate real-life examples. They are written for a diverse and broad audience who significantly touch and influence children’s lives, including caregivers of all kinds, professionals, volunteers, family members, and other caring adults. While the handbooks focus on children and the criminal justice system in New York State, they are designed to be helpful for those in other states as well.” “Volume I: The Experiences of Children of Incarcerated Parents” by Margaret Brooks, Elizabeth Gaynes, Tanya Krupat, Dana Lemaster-Schipani, and John Hunt covers what is known about these youth, their common feelings and emotions, criminal justice system stress points, individual experiences, diverse responses, and what you can do. “Volume II: Maintaining and Strengthening Family Ties for Children of Incarcerated Parents” by Elizabeth Gaynes, Tanya Krupat, Dana Lemaster-Schipani, and John Hunt discusses why relationships between children and their incarcerated parents need to be maintained, supporting positive visiting experiences for these children, the power of conversation, and facilitating communication between children and their incarcerated parents. “Volume III: Information for Non-Parent Caregivers of Children with Incarcerated Parents” by Gerald Wallace, Rachel Glaser, Michelle Rafael, Lynn Baniak, Tanya Krupat, Dana Lemaster-Schipani, and Elizabeth Gaynes provides background information about non-parent caregivers, and explains how kin become caregivers, custodial arrangements—a caregiver’s options, visiting and co-parenting, financial assistance, and health care, educational assistance, child care, and other services.

Stronger Together Cover

The experiences of female inmates, their children, and the present caregivers of those children are examined. Any review of the problems women inmates and their children experience should include this report. Three sections are contained in this document: female prisoners—demographics, criminal histories, family histories, mental health histories, drug abuse histories, children, and concerns and recommendations from the women; caregivers of the children of female prisoners—backgrounds of the incarcerated mothers and the children, experiences of the children at the time of arrest, problems experiences by the children, contact between child and mother, and problems experienced by caregivers; and summary and recommendations.

Study of Incarcerated Women and Their Children Cover

The National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated is the oldest and largest organization in the U.S. focused on children and families of the incarcerated and programs that serve them. Disseminating accurate and relevant information. Guiding the development of family strengthening policy and practice. Training, preparing, and inspiring those working in the field, including the families in defining the issues and designing solutions.

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