Families Impacted by Incarceration: Building Understanding

Resources for Building Understanding

Children of Incarcerated Parents Web Portal, youth.gov
This U.S. government website has links to a range of information, tools, and opportunities from federal agencies and their partners.

Echoes of Incarceration [Video], Ibis Productions, Inc.
This set of short films (generally 5- to 10-minutes long) are produced by and lift the voices of children whose parents are incarcerated.

Children of Incarcerated Parents Myth Busters [PDF], FEDIAWG on Children of Incarcerated Parents
This series addresses common myths which prevent families impacted by incarceration from getting the help and support they need. Issues covered include: eligibility for Medicaid; Social Security benefits; TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families); SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as “food stamps”); and placement of children in the case of parental incarceration. Each myth buster provides useful web-based resources for those in need of further information.

Children of Incarcerated Parents [PDF], National Conference of State Legislatures
This report discusses how parental incarceration affects children including: data and descriptions of the nature and scope of the problem; policy options for lawmakers and improving collaboration between the different systems involved: justice, human services and education.

AECF - A Shared Sentence [PDF], Ann E. Casey Foundation
This policy report focuses on the psychological impact that mass incarceration causes and how mass incarceration is linked to increasing poverty rates nationwide. Included are several recommendations for easing the burden by providing more support to the inmates, their children, and their communities before, during, and after a person’s incarceration.

Children of Incarcerated Parents Fact Sheet [PDF], Ann E. Casey Foundation
This fact sheet includes data on adult incarceration in the U.S., the effect on children and families left behind, and the impact of incarceration on foster care.

Parents Behind Bars: What Happens to Their Children? [PDF], Child Trends
This report provides numerical data on parental incarceration along with a discussion of the longterm impact of parental incarceration on children.

Children of Incarcerated Parents (COIP): The Impact of Incarceration [PDF], youth.gov
This infographic illustrates numerical data regarding the gender and ethnicity of incarcerated parents, as well as the child’s primary caregivers, during the parent’s jail or prison term. Information is given about the financial impact of incarceration on families.

New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents (CIP Stats Fact Sheet) [PDF], Osborne Association
In bullet point format, this document details the impact of parental incarceration on children, using national and New York data. The information presented focuses on the psychological effect of having parents in jail or prison, along with the number of children nationwide who have a parent behind bars and the ethnic and gender breakdown of incarcerated parents.

Mommies and Daddies in Jail [PPT], Creative Family Projects
This PowerPoint presentation provides data on children and parents impacted by incarceration. The presentation shows the social, emotional, and academic impact of parental incarceration on children as well as the economic and social effect on families. Discussed are what parental incarceration means to schools, how kids react to prison visits, some of the problems of reintegration, and strategies for supporting families.

National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated Fact Sheet [PDF], NRC
This document provides descriptive and numerical data about the demographics and the impact of parental incarceration, the numbers of parents behind bars, and the arrest procedures of parents in front of their children. Additionally, it gives descriptive and numerical data about the children’s caregivers and foster parents.

Parents in Prison [PDF], Sentencing Project
The Sentencing Project (www.sentencingproject.org) crunched the numbers and produced an infographic that presents the percentages of incarcerated parents and their children. It includes the frequency of contact between the parent behind bars and their child or children, as well as the children's living situation. Also mentioned are the missed opportunities for intervention and the consequences of parental incarceration. A good resource for anyone in search of hard data on these topics.