The growth in the number of men and women incarcerated in the United States over the past 20 years has affected an extraordinary number of children and families. And for the men and women returning from prison and jail, family support can be a key factor in successful transition. Most people returning to the community go home to a social network of relatives and close friends. Many reentry initiatives recognize the importance of engaging families and their communities in the reentry process, and the need to address the affects of incarceration on people’s children and other loved ones.

Key Resources

  • Why Ask About Family? A Guide for Corrections, Vera Institute of Justice (2011)
    This resource is for individuals working in jails, prisons, and other facilities and it provides practical advice for making corrections practices, policy, and reentry planning more family-focused. According to Vera, the guide “recommends ways to incorporate family-focused practices during a person’s time in custody, from intake through planning for a successful return to the community upon release. It also describes how families are affected when someone close to them is incarcerated and the many ways they can provide support to their loved ones, and it offers concrete ideas for corrections agencies that want to examine and consider changing their visitation policies and other practices.”

  • Webinar: From Arrest to Homecoming—Addressing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents, National Reentry Resource Center (2010)
    On September 1, 2010, National Reentry Resource Center, with the support of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, hosted a webinar that discussed how best to address the challenges faced by children of incarcerated parents. This webinar covered the emotional and physical needs of children of incarcerated parents and the complex family dynamics among children, incarcerated parents, and caregivers. Practical tips and sample resources developed by experienced service providers, such as co-parenting agreements, were shared. To watch the webinar, please click here. To download the PowerPoint presentation used in this webinar, please click here.