Children of imprisoned mothers and fathers are often described as the forgotten victims of incarceration. When a parent goes to jail, children are affected, usually in negative ways.
However, these effects are rarely considered in criminal justice processes, during which – instead – attention is focused on determining the guilt or innocence of a person and punishing those who break the law.
Stats on America’s Prison Kids
According to a Pew Center study in 2010 incarceration numbers affect children more every day. It is estimated that more than 2.7 million children — one in 28 — have at least one incarcerated parent.
That figure, still cited today, came after a 2007 U.S. Department of Justice survey placed the figure at 1.7 million. It followed yet another 79 percent increase between 1991 and 2007.
Today, the numbers are even more alarming.
Prison Moms in Nebraska Prisons
Nebraska’s prisons capacity is among the highest in the nation. As the population all over the country is increasing, Nebraska has taken a step forward. Two-thirds of the inmates are identified as parents, and that’s worth taking a closer look.
How and in what aspects this situation can affect inmates’ close circle, mainly their families. Although there is a record of consequences that go beyond the inmate, these have been observed from a non-realistic perspective.
There is not enough research on the consequences it has on a family. This information is vital to understand how families are torn.
Helping Nebraska’s Prison FamiliesMy Daddy’s In Jail While much information has been recovered, little has been done to work toward making the distance and conditions easier on families, especially on children. It’s no easy task having a parent serving time.
By not taking into account the children of incarcerated mothers and fathers or talking to them through all stages of the criminal justice process – from arrest, through trial, incarceration and release, to rehabilitation and reintegration into the community.
They are ignoring, when not actively harming, the rights, needs and best interests of the entire family.