The children of incarcerated men are at high risk for poverty, community violence, poor school performance, gang participation, and delinquency. However, incarceration presents many challenges to parent-child relationships, including loss of income and ability to provide financial support, restrictive visitation policies, transportation for families, and literacy skills. States have a vested interest in strengthening families as a strategy for preventing the future criminal involvement of children at risk and for motivating men to succeed when they are released from prison. Innovative programs in Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont, and Connecticut have been established to encourage contact between fathers and families and increase the parenting skills of inmates. Some states also offer job evaluation and training services to prepare men for employment and improve their ability to pay child support. Others facilitate paternity agreements and child support orders. Governments can help to expand services for incarcerated fathers by providing incentives for participation. 11 notes.
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