Questions are now being raised about the impact of imprisonment on children and families and the extent to which prisoners? families might be resources and assets, rather than liabilities, in promoting safer, resourceful communities. Recognition that the majority of women and men in prison are parents of dependent children and concerns about intergenerational crime and children at risk have placed parenting issues at the center of these discussions. This paper provides an overview of family matters during incarceration as one means of informing public debate and actions in this emerging area of social policy and practice. The problems that families face when a parent is incarcerated and the strategies they use to manage those problems are described. The relevance of the maintenance of prisoners? family and parental relationships to societal and family goals are discussed and the ways in which social policies and administrative practices hinder or support family maintenance are examined. (Author abstract, modified).
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