Supporting Families With Incarcerated Parents (including, Possible Developmental Effects of Parental Arrest and Incarceration on Children).

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National Human Services Assembly. Family Strengthening Policy Center.
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Consistent emotional bonds between families and adolescents have been found to be a significant protective factor for young people and a necessary component to achieve positive outcomes. That being said, it is estimated that there are 2,473,300 children of male prisoners and 319,718 children of female prisoners in U.S. correctional facilities. Our nation's high rate of incarceration takes a heavy toll socially and economically on children, their families and communities. Supports are needed because they make communities more resilient to the effects of incarceration and serve to prevent negative outcomes for prisoners and their children. According to Lalley (2003), communities with high rates of incarceration lose considerable social and financial resources. In addition, spouses and partners of inmates deal with emotional strain in their relationship and stress from carrying more parental duties and expenses, not to mention the psychological trauma a child suffers from the lost bond with the parent. This brief will examine risk and protective factors of children of incarcerated parents; intervention models, as well as state and federal initiatives to address this vulnerable and often invisible population. (Author abstract)

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