Impact of Parental Incarceration on Children

Jane A. Siegel, Rutgers University

As the nation's sentencing policies increasingly emphasized incarceration and the prison population has grown, one consequence has been an increase in the number of children with a parent in prison. A recent report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in fact extimated that there are now l.5 million children in this situation. Depsite the size of this population, relatively little is known about the impact of parental incarceration on children's lives except as reported by their parents. This paper will report preliminary findings from an observational study of children of prison inmataes, which is being conducted to further our understanding of the collateral consequences of our sentencing policies. Observations of the children will begin before the paraent is incarcerated - following arrest,

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Updated 05/20/2006