Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 472–486 | Cite as

The Impact of Parental Incarceration on Children: An Emerging Need for Effective Interventions

Article

Abstract

The increasing number of children with incarcerated parents constitutes perhaps one of the largest at-risk populations in the United States. Short- and long-term effects of parental incarceration are difficult to quantify; however, the current literature indicates that this population is negatively responding to major shifts in family structure, and is vulnerable to economic stress and adverse interpersonal issues. Service providers are seeking appropriate intervention strategies to address the resultant issues of parental incarceration. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of research on effective practice methods. This paper reviews the literature on the potential implications parental incarceration has on children, and discusses service providers’ concerted efforts to allay the consequences. Recommendations for appropriate data collection and identification of relevant gender, developmental, and cultural interventions are provided.

Keywords

Children Parental Incarceration Intervention 

References

  1. Block K. J., Potthast M. J. (1998). Girl scouts behind bars: Facilitating parent-child contact in correctional settings. Child Welfare 77(5):561–578PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bloom B. (1995). Imprisoned mothers. In: K. Gabel, D. Johnston (Eds) Children of incarcerated parents. New York: Lexington Books, pp. 21–30Google Scholar
  3. Bloom B., Steinhart D. (1993). Why punish the children? A reappraisal of the children of incarcerated mothers in America. San Francisco, CA: National Council on Crime and DelinquencyGoogle Scholar
  4. Breen P. (1995). Bridging the barriers. Corrections Today 57(7), 98–99Google Scholar
  5. Brenner E. (1998). Fathers in prison: A review of the data. Philadelphia, PA: National Center on Fathers and FamiliesGoogle Scholar
  6. Child Welfare League of America (1998). State agency survey on children with incarcerated parents. Washington, DC: AuthorGoogle Scholar
  7. Child Welfare League of America (2004). An overview of statistics. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America. Retrieved on July 14:2004 from http://www.cwla.org/programs/incarcerated/cop_factsheet.htmGoogle Scholar
  8. Dressel P., Barnhill S. (1994). Reframing gerontological thought and practice: The case of grandmothers with daughters in prison. The Gerontologist 34:685–691PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Dunn E., Arbuckle G. (2002). Impact of the LIFE Program: An Enhanced Visitation Program for the Children of Incarcerated Parents. Retrieved on October 14:2003 from http://outreach.missouri.edu/fcrp/lifeevaluation/Google Scholar
  10. Enders S. R., Paterniti D. A., Meyers F. J. (2005). An approach to develop effective health care decision making for women in prison. Journal of Palliative Medicine 8(2):432–39PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fritsch T. A., Burkhead J. D. (1981). Behavioral reactions of children to parental absence due to imprisonment. Family Relations 30:83–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gabel S. (1992). Children of incarcerated and criminal parents: Adjustment, behavior, and prognosis. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 20(1):33–45PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Gabel S., Shindledecker R. (1993). Characteristics of children whose parents have been incarcerated. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 44(7):656–660PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Hairston C. F. (1998). The forgotten parent: Understanding the forces that influence incarcerated fathers’ relationships with their children. Child Welfare 77(5):617–639PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Horn W. F (2002). Helping the hidden victims: Mentoring the children of prisoners. Retrieved on July 18:2004 from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/hotissues/hiddenvictims.htm Google Scholar
  16. Johnson , E.I. & Waldfogel, J. (2002). Children of incarcerated parents: Cumulative risk and children’s living arrangements. Unpublished manuscript. Retreived on October 20, 2003 from http;//www.jcpr.org/wp/Wpprofile.cfmGoogle Scholar
  17. Johnston D. (1995a). Effects of parental incarceration. In: K. Gabel, D. Johnston (Eds) Children of incarcerated parents. New York: Lexington Books, pp. 59–88Google Scholar
  18. Johnston D. (1995b). Intervention. In: K. Gabel, D. Johnston (Eds) Children of incarcerated parents. New York: Lexington Books, pp. 199–236Google Scholar
  19. Johnston D. (1995c). Parent-Child visitation in the jail or prison. In: K. Gabel, D. Johnston (Eds) Children of incarcerated parents. New York: Lexington Books, pp. 135–143Google Scholar
  20. Kampfner D. (1995). Post-traumatic stress reactions in children of imprisoned mothers. In: K. Gabel, D. Johnston (Eds) Children of incarcerated parents. New York: Lexington Books, pp. 89–100Google Scholar
  21. Krisberg B. A., Temin C. E. (2001). The plight of children whose parents are in prison. National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Retrieved on October 5:2003 from http://www.nccd-crc.org/pubs/2001/oct_children_of_incarcerated_parents_focus.pdfGoogle Scholar
  22. McQuaide S., Ehrenreich J. H. (1998). Women in prison: Approaches to understanding the lives of a forgotten population. Beverley Hills, CA: Sage PublicationsGoogle Scholar
  23. Moses M. (1995). Girl scouts beyond bars: A synergistic solution for children of incarcerated parents. Corrections Today 57:124–126Google Scholar
  24. Mumola C. J. (2000). Bureau of Justice Statistics bulletin: Incarcerated parents and their children. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of JusticeGoogle Scholar
  25. Parke , R. & Clarke-Stewart, K.A. (2002). Effectsof parental incarceration of young children. Unpublished manuscript. Retreived on October 30, 2003 from http:www.urban.org/uploadpdf/410267_Parental IncarcerationGoogle Scholar
  26. Phillips S. D., Burns B. J., Wagner R. H., Kramer T. L., Robbins J. M. (2002). Parental incarceration among adolescents receiving mental health services. Journal of Child and Family Studies 11(4):385–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Reed D. F., Reed E. L. (1997). Children of incarcerated parents. Social Justice 24(3):152–170Google Scholar
  28. Ruiz D. S. (2002). The increase incarcerations among women and its impact on grandmother caregivers: Some racial considerations—statistical data included. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare 29(3):179–198Google Scholar
  29. Seymour C. B. (1998). Children with parents in prison: Child welfare policy, program, and practice issues. Child Welfare 77(5):460–493Google Scholar
  30. Seymour C. B., Wright L. E. (2002). Working with children and families separated by incarceration: A handbook for child welfare agencies. Washington, DC: CWLA PressGoogle Scholar
  31. Simmons C. W. (2000). Children of incarcerated parents. California Bureau Research Reports. Retrieved on October 25:2003 from http://www.fcnetwork.org/reading/simmons.htmlGoogle Scholar
  32. Springer D. W., Lynch C., Rubin A. (2000). Effects of a solution-focused mutual aid group for hispanic children of incarcerated parents. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal 17(6):431–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Simmons C. W. (2000). Children of incarcerated parents. California Bureau Research Reports. Retrieved on October 25:2003 from http://www.fcnetwork.org/reading/simmons.htmlGoogle Scholar
  34. Young D. S., Smith C. J. (2000). When moms are incarcerated: The needs of children, mothers, and caregivers. The Journal of Contemporary Human Services 81(2):130–141Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Social ServiceFordham UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations