This volume reports on a study that explored the meaning and significance of the paternal role to jailed fathers and how the experience of going to jail affects that role. Characteristics of pre-incarceration relationships of jailed fathers in their families were also studied, as well as the nature and significance of contact with family during incarceration, the impact of pre-incarceration relationships of jailed fathers on the stress of incarceration, and the plans and expectations of jailed fathers regarding their paternal role following release. The study was conducted in two phases and at two sites. The first phase consisted of a survey of 93 fathers housed in two Western Pennsylvania jails. In addition, the inmates were administered a modified version of the Jail Preference Inventory and the Environmental Quality Scale. The second phase of the project consisted of follow-up interviews with 25 of the fathers. Following a literature review that shares findings from other studies on incarcerated parents, the methodology of the study is explained and study findings are reported on the participants' family of origin, current family, and jail experience of the fathers. Findings indicate many of the respondents were reared in chaotic family situations where father absence, incarceration, and abuse were commonplace. The children of these respondents are now experiencing similar situations, leading to a continuation of an unfortunate cycle and placing them at risk for similar outcomes. 19 tables, 4 figures, and 116 references.
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