What Is the Likelihood of Children Becoming Delinquent When Their Parents Have Been Incarcerated?

2159 Words9 Pages
What is the likelihood of children becoming delinquent when their parents have been incarcerated? Forensic & Corrections Nicole Brown September 24, 2012 Carlow University As our nation debates the wisdom of a fourfold increase in the rate of incarceration over the past generations, one impact is clear, prisons separate people from their families. Every individual sent to prison leaves behind a network of family relationships. Prisoner’s children siblings, parents, and relatives are affected in different ways when family members are arrested, removed, incarcerated, and ultimately returned home from prison. “During the 1990’s, the nation’s prison population increased by 50 percent, the number of children who had a parent in prison increased by the same proportion, from 1 million to 1.5 million children, these children represent 2 percent of all minor children in America” (Travis & Waul, 2003, p. 3). Overall, imprisonment places an indescribable burden on the relationships between parents and their children. Incarcerated parents must learn how to cope with the loss of normal contact with their children, infrequent visits in inhospitable surroundings, and lost opportunities to contribute to their children’s development. The children must come to terms with the harsh reality of an absent parent, and the stigma of parental imprisonment, as well as the altered support of the family system that may include grandparents, foster care, or a new adult in the home. Children whose parents have been arrested and incarcerated face unique difficulties. Many have experienced the trauma of sudden separation from their sole caregiver, and most are vulnerable to feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, depression and guilt. They may be moved from caretaker to caretaker. The behavioral consequences can be severe, absent positive intervention,

More about What Is the Likelihood of Children Becoming Delinquent When Their Parents Have Been Incarcerated?

Open Document