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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

More than 5 million US children have experienced a co-resident parent leaving for jail or prison. When parents are arrested, jailed, or sentenced to incarceration in jail or prison and released back into the community, their children experience changes at multiple levels. Children with incarcerated parents are more likely than their peers to experience multiple risk factors and stress exposures, including chronic poverty, parental unemployment, domestic violence, neighborhood violence, homelessness, and parental mental illness and substance abuse. Some risks occur prior to incarceration, whereas others occur during or following incarceration. This chapter provides a statistical portrait of children with incarcerated parents; reviews of risks commonly experienced by these children and research findings focusing on the well-being of children with incarcerated parents; a summary of incarceration-related experiences commonly encountered by affected children; and a discussion of implications for policy and practice.

Keywords: parents, incarceration, prison, jail, risk, children, policy, intervention

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