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.
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.
- Strengthening families impacted by incarceration, A review of current research and practice, Volunteers of America (2009)
This review examined all of the leading scholarly and popular research available in the fields of prisoner reentry and supporting families impacted by incarceration. It also considered numerous promising programs in these fields.
- Coaching Packets for Prisoner Reentry Initiative Grantees: Engaging Offenders' Families in Reentry, Center for Effective Public Policy (2010)
This section of the Center for Effective Public Policy's Coaching Packet Series provides an overview of using a strength-based, family-focused approach to reentry, as well as a variety of tools and resources for assessing strengths and addressing deficiencies in family-focused reentry practices.
- Children of Incarcerated Parents: An Action Plan for Federal Policymakers, Council of State Governments (2009)
This action plan reviews both federal and state barriers to identifying and serving children of incarcerated parents, and offers policy recommendations for the U.S. Congress and the Administration.
- The Impact of Marital and Relationship Status on Social Outcomes for Returning Prisoners, Urban Institute (2009)
This report highlights the short-term impact of marital and intimate partner status on recidivism, substance use, and employment.
- Parents in Prison and their Minor Children, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (2008)
Parents in Prison and their Minor Children is a special report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics that includes the latest data on children of incarcerated parents.
- Implementing the Family Support Approach for Community Supervision, Family Justice (2008)
This report provides strategies for community corrections agencies to implement the family support approach, which provides support to family members that will increase promote adherence to the terms of community supervision and the likelihood of a successful reentry.
- Broken Bonds: Understanding and Addressing the Needs of Children with Incarcerated Parents, Urban Institute (2008)
Broken Bonds reviews the empirical research on children of incarcerated parents, providing an overview of the challenges, demographic traits of this population, the impact of incarceration on emotional and behavioral well-being, and recommendations to improve outcomes for these children.
- Bringing Families In: Recommendations of the Incarceration, Reentry, and Family Roundtables, Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice and New Jersey Institute of Social Justice (2006)
Bringing Families In provides recommendations for maintaining family connections during incarceration, the challenges faced by incarcerated parents, and the family's role in reentry.