This book highlights the myriad factors that can impact the children of incarcerated parents. It is no secret that the United States continues to be the leading nation for the incarceration of men and women, and this this large prison population includes approximately 120,000 incarcerated mothers and 1.1 million incarcerated fathers. Incarceration of a parent is recognized as an ‘adverse childhood experience’, an acute or chronic situation that for most people is stressful and potentially traumatic. Children of incarcerated parents may experience other adverse childhood experiences such as poverty, homelessness, parental substance abuse and other mental health problems, and family violence. The chapters in this book document some of the challenges as well as some promising ways that can help parents and families begin to meet these challenges. It is our hope that the compendium of chapters presented in this book will be a resource for practitioners, policy makers, educators, researchers, and advocates in their work to ensure that the children of incarcerated parents, their caregivers, and their mothers and fathers, are provided the support they need to address the challenges they face during and after parental incarceration. This book was originally published as a special issue of Smith College Studies in Social Work.
Introduction1. Early Relational Health: Infants’ Experiences Living with Their Incarcerated Mothers2. Incarcerated Mothers: Trauma and Attachment Issues3. Substance Use among Youth with Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Parents4. Variations in the Life Histories of Incarcerated Parents by Race and Ethnicity: Implications for Service Provision5. A Statewide Parenting Alternative Sentencing Program: Description and Preliminary Outcomes6. The Moderating Effect of Living with a Child Before Incarceration on Postrelease Outcomes Related to a Prison-Based Parent Management Training Program7. Building a Tailored, Multilevel Prevention Strategy to Support Children and Families Affected by Parental Incarceration