Research Links

These links are intended for those who would like to gain a better understanding of the impact of parental incarceration on children.

The latest information (2011-2012) published by the Annie E Casey Foundation shows that in Texas, there are nearly a half million children affected by parental incarceration. That is 7% of our Texas children. For more information click on Nearly Six Million Kids Are Impacted by Parental Incarceration – The Annie E. Casey Foundation  (November 17, 2017).

A SHARED SENTENCE:  The devastating toll of parental incarceration on kids, families and communities

APRIL 2016 policy report: KIDS COUNT –  THE ANNIE E. CASEY FOUNDATION

click here to read this report

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Did You Know?

Children of incarcerated parents are an invisible population receiving little attention despite alarming numbers of children affected: one in 9 African American children, one in 28 Latino children, and one in 57 white children.[ii]   International human rights advocates have called parental incarceration “the greatest threat to child well-being in the U.S.”[iii]

To read the complete article, see The Osborne Association’s Issue Brief #1

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Did You Know?

Parental incarceration is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an adverse childhood experience (ACE). Parental incarceration increases the risk of children experiencing long term negative health and mental health outcomes, academic problems, poverty, household instability, homelessness, and infant mortality.[i]

To read the complete article, see The Osborne Association’s Issue Brief #2

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Did You Know?

Separation due to a parent’s incarceration can be as painful as other forms of parental loss and can be even more complicated because of the stigma that accompanies it, and the lack of social support and compassion associated with it.[i]

To read the complete article, see The Osborne Association’s Issue Brief #3

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Did You Know?

Visiting is often viewed from the perspective of whether children should go to a prison or jail, rather than from a child’s eye view and an attachment lens.  … Maintaining a connection with an incarcerated parent, including visits, can decrease a child’s emotional distress and negative behaviors.[ii] Visiting provides the forum for children to process the trauma surrounding the separation from their parents in ways that can reduce children’s feelings of guilt, responsibility, and concern for their parent’s safety[iii][iv]  Visiting is also a critical support for those who are incarcerated and is associated with reduced recidivism rates.

To read the complete article, see The Osborne Association’s Issue Brief #4

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Did You Know?

Children with incarcerated parents can benefit enormously from connecting with other children experiencing the same kind of ambiguous and highly stigmatized loss. … Peer support can help reduce feelings of isolation and shame, and help youth process the trauma of separation, overcome stigma, and develop or strengthen their positive identities.[i]

To read the complete article, see The Osborne Association’s Issue Brief #5

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Putting Kids First When a Parent is Incarcerated

Alisha Murdock remembers the moment in her life when she essentially became an adult, responsible for fending for herself and finding her own way.  She was 11 years old.

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From USA TODAY:  Report: One in 14 children has had incarcerated parent

One in 14 children have at least one parent behind bars and children in these situations suffer from low self esteem, poor mental and physical health, and other problems, a national research organization says.

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Having a Parent Behind Bars Costs Children, States  May 24, 2016  By Teresa Wiltz

More than 5 million children, or one in 14, in the U.S. have had a parent in state or federal prison at some point in their lives, according to the Casey Foundation.

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SILAS LYONS:  We jail the parents, but forget the children

In the 20 years between 1980 and 2000, the number of American kids with a father in prison or jail rose 500 percent…. Family income will drop by 22 percent on average (and these families often are already on the edge); the child’s chance of becoming homeless immediately goes up; the stress of having a parent incarcerated hits her with the same force as abuse or domestic violence; mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety, crowd out brain space for education. And so on.

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On any given day America incarcerates 54,000 youth within the juvenile justice system

  • Disparate Geographies: How Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Geography Impact the Incarceration of America’s Youth
  • Charting trends of racial and gender injustice across the juvenile justice system
  • Through Their Eyes: A Snapshot of the Daily Lives of America’s 54,000 Incarcerated Youth
  • Compounding Costs: America’s Youth Prisons are Failing our Kids and Costing Our Communities
  • The Road Home: Moving from Visualizing the Problem to Actualizing the Solution

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Resolving problems for students with imprisoned parents:  Students with incarcerated parents are usually minorities and live in poverty

Alison DeNiscoDistrict Administration, June 2016

More than 5 million American children face a rarely discussed educational challenge that has profound impact: seeing a parent spend time in prison.

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 The Intersection of Love and Loss: Children of Incarcerated Parents

  • Isadora KosofskyMay 17, 2016    “No matter what the parent did… to the child, that’s still mom and dad.”

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Parents’ incarceration hurts children, families, report by Casey Foundation finds

“Incarceration can really break down the family in a psychological and emotional way that really makes it almost impossible to rebuild,” Rahim said. “You need programs to help people make it through.”

— Baltimore Sun

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The Long Journey to Albion: My experience accompanying kids to visit their incarcerated mothers  

Twice a year, the Osborne Association’s Family Ties program facilitates a visit to Albion Correctional Facility for children to visit their incarcerated mothers. Previous accounts of the visit describe the day to day events of the trip. For the recent April visit, our Communications Assistant Melissa Tanis volunteered to be a chaperone on the trip. She offered her insights about how the trip felt for her and the kids she was supporting.

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MAY 13, 2016   Helping children affected by a parent’s incarceration

BY MELISSA RADCLIFF

Jack is an 8-year-old who until just recently lived with both of his parents. But his father’s arrest and subsequent incarceration have changed Jack’s life.

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COPING WITH INCARCERATION

Resource materials for children and families of inmates.

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