Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
An estimated 1.5 million children have a parent held in a state or federal prison in the United States, an increase of more than half a million since 1991. Many of these children have disruptions in familial relationships such as growing up in foster care, with grandparents or other relatives, or moving around among an array of temporary caretakers. Incarcerated parents have few opportunities for parenting from the inside, and they worry about the impact of their separation on their children. Children of African American families are hit particularly hard. Nearly half the parents behind bars are Black; another 20% are Hispanic. As these parents struggle to make a fresh start, they will encounter myriad legal barriers that may make it extraordinarily difficult for them to succeed in caring for their children. (Author abstract)
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