The high rates of incarceration in the United States are felt far beyond prison walls. According to a recent analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, as of 2007, an estimated 1.7 million children under the age of 18 had a parent in prison, and even more children have had an incarcerated parent at some point during their childhood. Growing up with an incarcerated parent is associated with a variety of negative outcomes resulting from financial instability, changes in family structure, and societal stigma. Furthermore, children with a parent in prison also may face a number of other challenging circumstances such as witnessing drug abuse or violence in the home or in their community. They also may have experienced trauma relating to their parent’s arrest or from experiences leading up to it.
To view a PDF of this report, published by the Federal Interagency Working Group for Children of Incarcerated Parents, click here.