Family Incarceration Research Paper

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Parenting Issues During Incarceration Donna Prenger Southeast Missouri State University CF 430 Dr. Anthony Faber April 22nd 2013 Abstract The intention of this paper is to provide an insight to parenting issues that arise due to one or both parents being incarcerated. There are over a million families affected by a loved one being behind bars. Prisoners families have not been a part of the social policy procedure that are afford to the 'free world' Services that assist inmates in carrying out the family role have not been implemented as needed. Social policies need to be challenged to better serve the prison population and how their families are viewed. The children of incarcerated parent/parents must deal with shame and stigma.…show more content…
Incarcerated parents are not properly prepared to address the needs of their children. Parental incarceration brings on a whole new meaning as to how the family role is defined. Most incarcerated parents plan to be reunited with their children after their release, and resume their family role. Incarcerated parents have to weigh the facts that their children may be taken from them and the possibility that someone else will take their place. Parental incarceration causes many strains on the family, and causes much anxiety for the children. For this reason it is important that parents are able to be in contact with their children in order to maintain and improve their role as a parent. Studies show that incarcerated individualizes with the closer family relationship have lower recidivism rates, exhibit better behavior while in prison, are more likely to work, and are less likely to use drugs after release. (Visher, C. Lavigne N.G., & Travis J.…show more content…
There are many inmates who feel they are bad parents and often feel guilty. They know what kind of parent they want to be but no matter how hard they try they cannot achieve this. This makes them look at themselves as failures, which causes them to shut the children out of their lives. They believe by doing this they can avoid being rejected and hurt. Attachment theory suggest that disruption and separation in the mother-child relationship increases risks to children and may negatively effect and disrupt the child ability to form and maintain a secure attachment relationship with the parent or another family member.(Bowlby, 1969/1982;) Children with insecure, disorganized, and disrupted attachment relationships are at risk for developing a number of negative outcomes, including psychopathology and substance abuse.(Greenberg, 1999) A positive relationship between the parent and child has a significant impact on an incarcerated parent success in reunification and the prevention of recidivism. The children and the families of an incarcerated parent have to deal with the stigma that society has placed on them if it is found out that a parent is incarcerated. The way society associates the child with the incarcerated parent can lead to low self esteem and depression. Children may also blame themselves for the parents criminal behavior especially if the parent stole for the

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