Issues and Facts
  • Our Children Must Visit Their Incarcerated Parents

    Posted on   10/24/2012  2:11 PM

    On a recent prison visit, one of our older children, who has both parents in prison, said to us:

    "Just seeing my dad today let's me know what I'll look like later in life."

    That's an important admission for this youth.

    We want our kids to visit their parents in prison. We want them to understand where their parents came from and why they made the bad decisions that they did. We want them to know what their parents look like. All of these things are a critical part of the healing process these children must go through in coming to terms with the crimes and punishment of their parents.

    When children don’t know or see their parents on a regular basis, it can lead to feelings of abandonment and loneliness. And that’s just the beginning.

    According to the study, Children with Parents in Prison: Child Welfare Policy, Program, and Practice Issues, separation of children and their parents by prison can also lead to eating and sleeping disorders, lower academic performance, and disruptive behavior.

    The study said: “Forced parent-child separation is traumatic for children because one of a parent’s most important roles is to help children deal with trauma. Children of incarcerated adults are likely to have experienced trauma in the household prior to their parent’s incarceration, leaving them even more vulnerable after separation. As a result, children of incarcerated parents often experience feelings of anger, depression, withdrawal, and guilt and behavioral problems. Studies show that frequent, regular visitation is beneficial to such children’s welfare: children who visit their incarcerated parents score higher on measures of well-being, IQ, emotional adjustment, and behavioral measures.”

    This is why we take 700 children and their caregivers up to four times a year to visit their imprisoned parents. We want our children to feel a sense of closure to the traumatizing experiences of being separated from their parents.


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by  BLU GRL7/24/2014 2:59 PM

Hello Families of incarcerated loved ones. I am the wife of an inmate and we have children in and out of wedloc that have been DEEPLY affected by the separation. Two of those children, ages 13 & 8 at the time, actually sat in the federal court room where the judge spoke very negatively about their father knowing they were present. The whole ordeal which started Monday, August 20, 2012 the day my husband was arrested has been made worse with them sentencing him and shipping him to a far away out of state facility that I am definitely unable to get to but once a year and that is Father's Day! But our 20 year old son has responded to the incarceration in a very unexpected fashion. He has rebelled and has been arrested and jailed as a result. This is coming from a straight A student, national honor society candidate. I am bearing witness to the cycle and I didn't realize it til I just read this caption that my children are in a no win situation here! I would love to have some support as well as be a part of this movement. Not only to save my children but to be a blessing and help in saving any other child in this situation!

by  Ashley11/3/2012 12:22 PM

My husband was recently incarecerated. Our local jail does not allow children under 17 to visit ever. They also do not allow video calls. This seems like a violation of their rights as well as psycholocically damaging. Has anyone else experienced this?