|This quantitative study provides a national overview of child support
policies for fathers incarcerated in state-operated prisons. This National
Survey of Incarcerated Fathers and Child Support was mailed to: A) The
Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and B) The Director of Child
Support Enforcement in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. A
modified version of Dillman's Total Design Method (2000) was implemented
with three time-series contacts with respondents. With a response rate of
88% this study collected a representative sample of responses in major U.S.
jurisdictions to questions concerning the number of incarcerated fathers,
child support policies, and the agency's awareness of the inmate child
A total of 90 representatives, 46 child support representatives and 44
corrections representatives, from 51 jurisdictions participated in the
study. The extrapolated data show national estimates that 15% of adult males
incarcerated in state-operated institutions have child support obligations.
The study found that half of agencies responding do not know the number of
incarcerated fathers with child support obligations in their state yet of
the 49 states responding, 21 have a policy in which the incarcerated father
is obligated to continue to pay child support during incarceration.
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