This book contains expanded version of papers presented at the Natcher Center of the National Institutes of Health in January 2002. The papers address the consequences of imprisonment and reentry for individual prisoners, their families, and the communities to which these prisoners return. Preceded by an introductory chapter outlining current data on prisoners and their children and families, Part 1 examines the impact of prison itself. It examines the psychological impact of imprisonment, the experiences of women prisoners, and the ability of prison programs to improve the ability of prisoners to hold jobs, stay sober, and avoid criminal behavior. Part 2 examines the impact of imprisonment on the relationships between parents and children. The deep consequences of mass incarceration on familial relationships in Washington, D.C., are documented, and the effects of parental incarceration on child development and the many factors that may help or hinder the ability of children to cope with the loss of a parent are explored. The potential negative consequences of parental incarceration on adolescent children are discussed, and the challenges an entire family faces when a family member is incarcerated are described. Part 3 explores the impact of parental incarceration on the formal and informal service networks that are designed to support families and children, particularly those networks that serve the poor communities most affected by the increase in incarceration. Spatial analyses are used to display the overlaps and connections between neighborhoods experiencing high rates of prisoner removal and the distribution of public assistance. The potential harm high levels of incarcerations may have on the capacity of a community to meet the needs of residents is also considered. The final chapter discusses the potential for the coordination of services to meet the needs of prisoners and their families. Numerous references. (Author abstract modified)
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