Currently, within the current criminal justice and social service system, there is no systematic way of identifying these at-risk children in Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade Country has the 6th largest jail system in the United States.
As of 1999 (Mumola 2000):
- Cambridge Study finds that prison sentences for mothers may increase number of children in prison.
- 44 percent of fathers in state prisons had lived with their minor children prior to incarceration; 55 percent of fathers in Federal prison reported the same.
- 64 percent of mothers in state prisons had lived with their minor children prior to incarceration; 84 percent of mothers in Federal prison reported the same.
- Currently, mothers are more likely to have monthly contact with their children than fathers, yet only 54% had seen their children in the past year.
- While parents in both state and Federal prisons report having some form of contact with their children during incarceration; it was limited.Communication includes letters, phone, and personal visits.
- In Federal prisons, 44 percent were Black, 30 percent were Hispanic, and 22 percent were White.
- The average sentence length of a prisoner is 14.6 years; the recidivism rate is 18 percent.
- 1.5 million children had at least one incarcerated parent in the United States.
- In state prisons, 49 percent of parents were Black, 29 percent were White, and 19 percent were Hispanic.
- State and Federal prisons held an estimated 667,900 fathers and 53,600 mothers as of 1999.
Children of inmates face a number of challenges every day that peers do not.
- A future that is much more likely to find them incarcerated.
- Feelings of social stigma, embarrassment, and isolation from their peers.
- Visitations with incarcerated parents in anxiety-filled prison meeting rooms.
- Increased potential for depression, lower grades, separation anxiety, impaired emotional development, acute traumatic stress reactions, survivor guilt, and delinquent juvenile behaviors such as drug use, violence, and teen pregnancy.
While we can gauge the numbers of children affected by parental incarceration within state and Federal prison settings with relative accuracy, we have no knowledge of how many incarcerated parents are in local and county jails.
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