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By Joyce A. Arditti

Over 2% of U.S.children below the age of 18—more than 1,700,000 children—have a mother or father in felony. those childrens adventure very actual hazards compared to their friends: they generally tend to event decrease degrees of academic good fortune, social exclusion, or even the next chance in their personal destiny incarceration. in the meantime, their new caregivers need to comply with their new duties as their lives swap in a single day, and the incarcerated mom and dad are bring to an end from their children’s development.

Parental Incarceration and the relations brings a kinfolk viewpoint to our figuring out of what it skill to have such a lot of of our nation’s mom and dad in legal. Drawing from the field’s newest learn and the author’s personal fieldwork, Joyce Arditti bargains an in-depth examine how incarceration impacts complete households: criminal mom and dad, teenagers, and care-givers. by using exemplars, anecdotes, and reflections, Joyce Arditti places a human face at the mass of humanity in the back of bars, in addition to these family who're stricken by a parent’s imprisonment. In targeting offenders as mom and dad, a substantially various social coverage schedule emerges—one that demands genuine reform and that responds to the collective vulnerabilities of the incarcerated and their kinfolk.

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Extra resources for Parental Incarceration and the Family: Psychological and Social Effects of Imprisonment on Children, Parents, and Caregivers

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Offender parents’ embeddedness in prosocial relationships, and in particular family relationships, warrants consideration because these ties can potentially support positive parental identities and allow for the reestablishment of noncriminal relational bonds and roles upon release (Martinez, 2009; Maruna & Roy, 2007). Mary’s story exemplifies a worst-case scenario for she lacked support from family and significant others, both as a child herself and as a young mother before her incarceration. One has to wonder how Mary’s life, as well as her ability to function well as a parent, might have been different if she had a close network of caring adults and mentors accessible to her.

Salient Demographic Statuses Demographic statuses pertaining to gender, race, and class have received widespread attention within the “mass imprisonment” scholarship—particularly in terms of the ways racism and cumulative disadvantage may propel and keep black men in the criminal justice system (Barak, Flavin, & Leighton, 2001; Pettit & Western, 2004; Shelden, 2000; Western, 2006). , Mumola, 2000), little is known regarding how contextual statuses specifically shape the parenting experience of offenders with children.

2008), particularly upon reentry (Arditti & Few, 2008; Travis, 2005; Visher & Travis, 2003). , beyond employment and income), including family history of abuse, past trauma, and relationship disconnections, and these factors seem to contribute to mothers’ distress in prison and upon release (Arditti & Few, 2008; Poehlmann, 2005b, 2005c; Richie, 2002; Thompson & Harm, 2000). Regardless of gender, imprisoned populations tend to have histories of more intense cumulative disadvantage and, upon reentry, seem to face sometimes insurmountable challenges to overcoming economic adversity and marginalization given their social exclusion from important opportunity structures such as education or employment (Foster & Hagan, 2007; Travis, 2005; Western, 2006).

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