What happens to children when their parent is released from jail or prison? The answers vary. It depends in part, on the quality of the attachment to that parent before and during incarceration.(Adalist-Estrin, 1993) Another factor is the extent of the trauma created by the parent’s offense, arrest, and imprisonment. (Johnston, 1992)
The child’s adjustment to a parent’s parole is also significantly related to the presence and quality of protective factors and support systems that were available during the incarceration period and upon release. (Gaynes, 1994, Johnston, 1993) Finally, we know that the most damaging aspect of incarceration is recidivism (Johnston, 1994) and the child’s adjustment will be seriously compromised by the parent’s return to prison. Each of these factors are independently significant and warrant discussion. (Author Abstract).
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