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Running Head: CONSEQUENCES OF HIGH INCARCERATION RATE Consequences of High Incarceration Rate [Name] [University] Consequences of High Incarceration Rate Introduction Incarceration affects millions of Americans either through current or past imprisonment or the imprisonment of a family member or friend…
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Download file to see previous pages Research addressing the impact of parental incarceration on children has identified developmental, emotional, psychological, social, educational, and behavioral consequences for these children (Trice & Brewster, 2004). There is some consensus in the literature identifying some of the serious, detrimental consequences for children of all ages who experience parental incarceration. These issues must be identified and addressed as children of incarcerated parents are viewed as a unique, group with special service needs. Number of Incarcerated Parents The Bureau of Justice Statistics in an August 2000 special report identified a total of 1,284,894 prisoners of which, 721,500 were parents. Within this group of incarcerated parents, 46% resided with at least one minor child at the time of incarceration (Mumola, 2001). Of this group of parents incarcerated, 32% reported having more than one child less than 18 years of age (Mumola, 2001) and 37% reported living with their children in the month previous to their arrest (Mumola, 2001). In the same year, 2.1 percent of the 72 million minors in the United States in 1999 had a parent in prison, which represents almost 1.5 million children (Harrison & Beck, 2006). Fathers were less likely to report living with their children prior to incarceration than mother, (47% federal inmates versus 73%). Of fathers imprisoned in 1999, reported the child's mother was their primary caregiver 90% of the time where as only 28% of incarcerated mothers cited their child's father as the primary caretaker (Mumola, 2001). Imprisoned mothers identify grandparents and other family members as the primary caregivers of their children 79% of the time (Mumola, 2001). From 1991 to 1999 the proportion of prison inmates who were also parents increased by more than 250,000. The aforementioned rise in female prisoners has also exacerbated an increase in the number of mothers in prison (106% versus 58% rise in fathers). In 1999, it was estimated that 1.4 million children had an incarcerate father and 126,100 with incarcerated mother (Mumola, 2001). Johnston, (1995a) highlights that due to the prevalence of intergenerational crime and the risk for children within these families, it is necessary to address the problem within the context of the family as well as the individual. Impact of Parental Incarceration of Children It is clear that incarceration affects millions of families in the United States. The rise in incarceration rates for both men and women has definite consequences for their children. Whether it is the absence of a father or the incarceration of a mother who is most likely the primary caregiver prior to incarceration, there are considerable consequences for children (Mumola, 2001). Children of prisoners struggle with issues that impact their psychosocial development. The stigmatization of parental incarceration is an important issue addressed in the literature as well as the impact this may have on a child's their self-concept and identity development. The separation of a child from their parent due to incarceration may have differential and devastating effects. Kampfner (1995) outlines how maternal incarceration further stigmatizes children and prevents them from having their needs met. Being witness to a mother's ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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