Parents in Prison.Six-year-old "Justin" and his grandmother drive two hours several times each month so Justin can visit his father in the maximum-security prison where he has been confined for much of Justin's life. The prison does not allow physical contact between visitors, but they can see each other and talk. It is far from ideal, but at least Justin knows his father cares about him.
Children Left Behind
Incarcerated incarcerated /in·car·cer·at·ed/ (in-kahr´ser-at?ed) imprisoned; constricted; subjected to incarceration.
Confined or trapped, as a hernia. Parents and Their Children, a Bureau of Justice Statistics Noun 1. Bureau of Justice Statistics - the agency in the Department of Justice that is the primary source of criminal justice statistics for federal and local policy makers
BJS (BJS Noun 1. BJS - the agency in the Department of Justice that is the primary source of criminal justice statistics for federal and local policy makers
Bureau of Justice Statistics ) report published in 2000, indicates that nearly 1.5 million children nationwide have at least one parent incarcerated in a state or federal prison. Approximately 600,000 more children have parents who are being held in local jails. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. these figures, more than one child in 50 has an incarcerated parent and millions more will face this crisis at some point in their young lives.
With the country's incarcerated population is growing at an average rate of 6 percent per year, the number of children with parents in prison will continue to increase. Most children have incarcerated fathers, but a growing number -- 8 percent -- have mothers behind bars.
"Many mothers were the primary caregivers just prior to arrest," says Dee Ann Newell, executive director of Centers for Youth and Families in Little Rock, Ark., making rising incarceration Confinement in a jail or prison; imprisonment.
Police officers and other law enforcement officers are authorized by federal, state, and local lawmakers to arrest and confine persons suspected of crimes. The judicial system is authorized to confine persons convicted of crimes. rates among women even more alarming. The number of women in prison has increased 106 percent since 1990, doubling the number of children with mothers in prison. According to Newell, the 685 women housed in the Ronald McPherson Correctional Facility for women in Arkansas have a total of nearly 1,500 children who are minors.
Incarceration's Effect On Children
Children with incarcerated parents often live in homes plagued by poverty, substance abuse or violence before arrests occur, but having a parent in prison adds several complicating factors to a child's world. The immediate issues are the terror and confusion children feel when they witness or learn about the arrest of a parent. Newell says law enforcement officers at the scene can do much to reassure children and let them know their parents will be safe, such as bringing a teddy bear to comfort the child and mediating at the time of arrest. Although some children do not react at the time of the arrest, officers should not assume they are OK.
Another issue is the care crisis that results if the parent arrested is the primary caregiver. More than two-thirds of incarcerated mothers and half of incarcerated fathers lived with their children before incarceration. During their parents' incarcerations, children may be placed in any number of caregiving arrangements. Many children with incarcerated mothers live with grandparents grandparents npl → abuelos mpl
grandparents grand npl → grands-parents mpl
grandparents grand npl , but more than one-quarter are placed in foster care or live in informal arrangements with extended family or friends.
In addition to the trauma of witnessing an arrest and being separated from a parent, children who experience parental incarceration are more likely to develop emotional and behavioral difficulties, including withdrawal, aggression, anxiety and depression. They also are at greater risk for poor academic performance, alcohol and drug abuse, and low self-esteem.
Professionals who work with children of inmates say that many of them believe they are somehow to blame for their parents' imprisonment Imprisonment
See also Isolation.
former federal maximum security penitentiary, near San Francisco; “escapeproof.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 218]
German prison ship in World War II. [Br. Hist. . Dr. Justine Skiba, a staff psychologist at the Children's Village in Dobbs Ferry Dobbs Ferry, village (1990 pop. 9,940), Westchester co., SE N.Y., on the Hudson River, a suburb of New York City; inc. 1873. It is mostly residential but has light industries and research facilities. , N.Y., and coordinator of its Treatment for Residents With Incarcerated Parents (TRIP) program, says "children "carry a lot of the burden around with them."
Most compellingly, research is beginning to show that children of offenders are more likely to enter the criminal justice system themselves. Researchers estimate that children with incarcerated parents were six times more likely than their peers to become criminally involved and incarcerated during their lives. A BJS study, Survey of Youth in Custody, determined that 50 percent of incarcerated juveniles had a parent who also was incarcerated. Susan Quinlan, executive director of Families in Crisis (FIC FIC First International Computer
FIC Fogarty International Center (John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences; National Institutes of Health)
FIC Fellowship for Intentional Community ) in Hartford, Coon coon: see raccoon. ., which works closely with correctional officers in coordinating visits between inmates and their children, says officers tell her they are "sick of seeing fathers and sons in prison."
Families face another set of difficulties when a parent is released from prison. In the months before release, strong emotional reactions are common in children -- who often are hurt, resentful and angry -- and parents -- who are unsure of how they will fit back into their children's lives. The risk of recidivism recidivism: see criminology. is high and the rearrest of a parent can be even more traumatic to a child than the initial incident.
In addition to psychological issues, supporting a family again can be extremely difficult. In fact, laws that ban individuals with drug addictions from receiving public assistance or public housing can make it nearly impossible for inmates to lawfully re-establish themselves in their communities and care for their children. Further, incarceration occurs disproportionately for families who are already living in poverty and poses further financial difficulties. If a father is incarcerated, a family may lose their primary financial support or do without formal or informal child support payments. If a mother or father who was the sole caregiver is incarcerated, children may be left with a relative who is unprepared for the costs associated with rearing children.
The situation, however, is far from hopeless. Intervention during the parents' arrest, prosecution, incarceration and transition back into the community can help reduce the devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. effect parental incarceration has on their children. Although children of inmates historically have received little attention from policy-makers and service providers, a growing number of programs are working to address their special needs.
Visiting Hours visiting hours
the times when visitors are allowed to see someone in a hospital or other institution: many prisoners' wives complain about the short visiting hours
The parent-child bond is strong. While there are rare cases in which the nature of the crime would preclude the consideration of continued contact between parent and child, it is unfair to assume that because a parent is incarcerated he or she cannot play a role, even a positive one, in the child's life. 'We see these kids do better with contact," says Newell, whose Arkansas program provides volunteers to drive children to see their incarcerated parents.
Prisons, however, are not designed to be family-friendly, and inmates often are held more than 100 miles from their last residence. Newell says some of her clients travel up to six hours for a visit. Phone access is limited and visiting rooms in prisons are not designed with children in mind.
In most cases, helping families maintain contact during incarceration reassures children of their parents' love, motivates parents in their recovery and rehabilitation efforts, and increases the likelihood that families can be successfully reunited "Reunited" was a #1 hit in the United States in 1979 by the Washington, D.C.-based group Peaches & Herb.
"Heart of Glass" by Blondie Billboard Hot 100 number one single
May 5 1979 Succeeded by
"Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer when inmates return home. Newell says she has seen mothers in prison who are "transformed" by seeing their children.
"We have a mom who delivered a baby in prison," recounts Newell. The infant was taken into state custody, but the inmate's three other children are staying with their grandmother. A volunteer regularly takes all four children to visit their mother who is on work release and striving for reunification re·u·ni·fy
tr.v. re·u·ni·fied, re·u·ni·fy·ing, re·u·ni·fies
To cause (a group, party, state, or sect) to become unified again after being divided. .
Families in Crisis
FIC is the only agency in Connecticut, and one of a few national programs, dedicated to meeting the needs of offenders and their families. Through a range of programs, FIC works to address the needs of parents and children during incarceration and at the time of release.
Because young children are least apt to have the developmental skills necessary to cope with trauma and are most in need of intervention, FIC has two programs devoted to young and school-age children. The Sesame Street Sesame Street is an American educational children's television series for preschoolers and is a pioneer of the contemporary educational television standard, combining both education and entertainment. program serves the needs of children under 12 who are visiting their parents in prison. FIC operates a walk-in center adjacent to the visiting rooms at two Connecticut state prisons This is a list of state prisons in Connecticut. It does not include federal prisons or county jails located in the state of Connecticut.
The Youth Enrichment Services (YES) program offers after-school enrichment programs for up to 26 children and their families. The program picks up the children after school and brings them to the center where they receive counseling, educational support, recreational opportunities and therapy. The program also works with caregivers and the incarcerated parent, providing parenting education and support services support services Psychology Non-health care-related ancillary services–eg, transportation, financial aid, support groups, homemaker services, respite services, and other services in the community and correctional facilities. YES also refers families to other services and provides transportation to clients to eliminate any barriers preventing them from receiving needed services. "It is not unusual for us to work with a family involved in many systems," says Quinlan.
FIC also offers help to young fathers who are incarcerated. Fathers and Children Together (FACT) serves young fathers, ages 18 to 21, who soon will be released from Connecticut's Manson Youth Institute. FACT encourages young men to become supportive fathers. FACT crafts an individualized in·di·vid·u·al·ize
tr.v. in·di·vid·u·al·ized, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·ing, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·es
1. To give individuality to.
2. To consider or treat individually; particularize.
3. service plan for each young father. Service plans may include individual, family and group counseling; educational and peer support groups; and mentor pograms. FIC also provides family members with transportation to prison and aftercare af·ter·care
Follow-up care provided after a medical procedure or treatment program.
the care and treatment of a convalescent patient, especially one that has undergone surgery. services for inmates three to six months following discharge.
Other FIG programs provide family counseling and support, working with families to resolve their economic and emotional problems. FIG works closely with correctional officers, but Quinlan worries that "some intake procedures do not even inquire if an inmate is a parent." She says correctional employees often can help strengthen that natural support system. "Release success often hinges on a strong family relationship," says Quinlan. "We work with the [offenders] to discuss how their children are impacted by their criminal behavior and imprisonment and discuss their role in their children's lives. We work with them on how to maintain the relationship."
Program Serves New York's Children
Up to 17,000 inmates occupy the 10 separate jails on New York's Rikers Island Ri·kers Island
An island in the East River off the south coast of the Bronx, New York City. Part of the Bronx borough, it is the site of a large penitentiary. . It is the population of a small city, and many of its inhabitants
The game is based loosely on the concepts from SameGame. are parents. According to Tanya Krupat, director of the Children With Incarcerated Parents program with the City of New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Administration for Children's Services (ACS (Asynchronous Communications Server) See network access server. ), ACS and the city's Department of Corrections (DOG) recently realized they had a shared interest. "We saw an overlap in mandates," says Krupat.
Identifying a shared mandate led to a visiting program on Rikers Island. "This is unique in that it is a collaboration between corrections and ACS," says ACS Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta Nicholas Scoppetta (born 1932 in New York, New York) currently serves as the 31st Fire Commissioner of the City of New York. He was appointed to that position by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on January 1, 2002. . "We are really committed to the notion that children should have access to their parents no matter what the circumstances."
Now, when children come to Rikers, they are brought to a child-friendly area. Although they must pass through metal detectors, correctional officers try to make security measures Noun 1. security measures - measures taken as a precaution against theft or espionage or sabotage etc.; "military security has been stepped up since the recent uprising"
security quick and unintimidating. Also, DOG eliminates any waiting time for children by having their parents in the visiting area when they arrive. Rikers also makes exceptions to rules prohibiting anything from being brought into the visiting rooms by allowing children and their caregivers to come in with personal items such as food and diaper bags. The facility also gave ACS a large locker for toys.
Krupat says they also plan two or three special events each year. During a kick-off barbecue, "we had correc-tional officers grilling hot dogs and hamburgers." They also planned a Halloween fall fun day.
The program has benefited both agencies. The children are able to visit with their parents, and the inmates receive an enormous incentive. "The parents who get visits and participate in the program are much less likely to be discipline problems," says Krupat. "The correctional officers also get to see the [inmates] as moms and dads, doing the things that parents do."
ACS provides technical assistance and training to foster care agencies that want to learn about the criminal justice system, how Visits work and whether contact with a parent is in the best interest of the children. It also has produced a resource guide and a short video on the visiting program that shows, in ways words cannot, just how much these visits mean to parents and children.
Resource Center for Children of Prisoners
The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA CWLA Child Welfare League of America ), in partnership with the American Correctional Association The American Correctional Association is an association of providers of services to prisons in the United States. It holds an annual trade show where products used in prisons are shown to prospective purchasers.
It was formerly known as the American Prison Association. (ACA ACA - Application Control Architecture ) and the National Center on Crime and Delinquency, was awarded a $1.1 million grant from the National Institute of Corrections The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is an agency of the United States government. It is part of the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons. on Sept. 19 to develop a Resource Center for Children of Prisoners.
The center will identify, develop and disseminate information and tools to help practitioners serve children affected by incarceration. It also will provide technical assistance, training and materials to 10 pilot sites across the country that are addressing the needs of these families. The pilot programs include initiatives in different stages of development and in communities from Alaska to Maryland. Some of the programs are in communities with extremely high incarceration rates. CWLA will convene advisory panels within the next few months to assist in these efforts and evaluate the outcomes achieved by the three-year pilot programs.
The goal of the center is to share information with professionals in key disciplines and the general public so together, everyone can create better outcomes for children whose parents are involved with the criminal justice system. CWLA will rely on ACA to contribute the correctional system's perspective and help disseminate information to the corrections field because corrections plays a critical role in serving this population well.
Skiba says the successes she sees in her TRIP program are small, yet important. Even if reunification is not a possibility, visits still give children "a feeling of some connection with family members."
Skiba has one client who, during her time in prison, worked hard to improve her parenting skills, recover from a drug addiction and rebuild her relationship with her son. Today, she is out of prison and regularly visits her son in hopes of regaining custody. "She has a reason to stay out of prison now," says Skiba, "and her son has a reason to be optimistic."
[Back-formation from chaise (taken as pl. )]
Noun 1. Bilchik is president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and past administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (or OJJDP) is an office of the United States Department of Justice and a component of the Office of Justice Programs. . Cynthia Seymour, J.D., is the general counsel of CWLA and coordinator of CWLA's Children With Parents in Prison Initiative. Kristen Kreisher is managing editor of Children's Voice, CWLA's bimonthly bi·month·ly
1. Happening every two months.
2. Happening twice a month; semimonthly.
1. Once every two months.
2. Twice a month; semimonthly.
n. pl. magazine.