Statistics Concerning Children of Prisoners
There are more than 2.7 million children in the United States with an incarcerated parent (The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2010. Collateral Costs: Incarceration's Effect on Economic Mobility, Washington: The Pew Charitable Trusts).
One in 28 (2.3 percent) American children has a parent incarcerated in state or federal prison (Sentencing Project/Research and Advocacy for Reform, February 2009).
Having an incarcerated parent often results in school behavior and performance problems as well as social and institutional stigma and shame (Vulnerability of Children of Incarcerated Addict Mothers: Implications for Preventive Intervention, Children and Youth Services Review, 2005).
In addition to lowering the likelihood of recidivism among incarcerated parents, there is evidence that maintaining the child-parent relationship while a parent is incarcerated improves a child’s emotional response to the incarceration and encourages parent-child attachment (Examining the Effect of Incarceration and In-Prison Family Contact on Prisoners’ Family Relationships, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 2005).