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Justice Strategies releases "Children on the Outside" report

Justice Strategies, one of the sponsors of the Texas Prison Bid'ness blog, has just released a report on the impact of prisons on the children of the incarcerated.  While it doesn't directly deal with private prisons in Texas, Children on the Outside: Voicing the Pain and Human Costs of Parental Incarceration elegantly expresses one of the many collateral consequences of the U.S.'s astronomically high rates of incarceration.  Here is a description of the report:

This new Justice Strategies report provides first-hand accounts of the harm experienced by some of the 1.7 million minor children with a parent in prison, a population that has grown with the explosion of the U.S. prison population.

When they do time we also do time.  Just because we’re not in there doesn’t mean we don’t do time.  Because you’re not with us, we also do time[.]

            - Araya, a teen girl with an incarcerated father.

The report details the challenges faced by children of incarcerated parents whose experience of grief and loss is compounded by economic insecurity, family instability, a compromised sense of self-worth, attachment and trust problems, and social stigmatization when their parents are incarcerated.  The report outlines the ways in which parental incarceration can influence negative outcomes for youth, including mental health problems, possible school failure and unemployment, and antisocial and delinquent behavior. 

As with the punitive consequences of our mandatory sentencing and mass incarceration policies, the impact of parental incarceration falls disproportionately on children of color.  African American children are seven times and Latino children two and half times more likely to have a parent in prison than white children.  The estimated risk of parental imprisonment for white children by the age of 14 is one in 25, while for black children it is one in four by the same age.

The whole report is definitely worth a read.  Check it out here.


I like how this post makes it sound like the prison system and the justice system are the bad people. It's like " oh look at these poor kids whose parents are locked up in those horrible prisons!!!"

So stupid, maybe if people wouldn't break the law, they wouldn't be in jail, right?

Pretty plain, simple, cut-and-dry. You don't want to be in jail, don't break the law. DUH!!!!

You obviously are either law enforcement OR have NEVER had someone in jail.  It is hard on the family, especially the children who have incarcerated parents. The children suffer not only loss of a parent, but losing homes, no money for food AND people like you place a stigma on these children of GOD.  Am from a law enforcement family that now has loved on in Federal Prison.  Am not saying that they don't need to pay their time for their crime.  Just saying that if you had a personal experience with this, you would not be so cold towards others.

Yes, it's tough to have a daddy of a 3 and 4 year old in Federal Prison. He can't pay child support because he's in jail - but he wasn't paying it when he was out, either, and he tested positive for drugs while he had the kids on his weekend. Yes, they miss him because they are too little to understand all the times he put them in danger and that it's his fault they don't have their own home, but as the mommy he pulled a gun on, I say it's too bad, and very, very scary, that he's getting out in a few months.