Issues and Facts
  • Should Children Be Allowed to Visit Their Parents in Jail or Prison?

    Posted on   11/12/2012  11:34 AM

    Should children be allowed to visit their parents in correctional facilities?

    A mother who reads our blog recently commented that her child isn't allowed to visit the child’s father being held at a local jail. She stated that no children under 17 are allowed to visit their parents in the facility, and they also are not allowed video calls. “This seems like a violation of their rights as well as psychologically damaging,” she wrote.

    We researched and found that jail and prison visitation policies vary. Some facilities do not allow children under 18 unless they are accompanied by an adult or legal guardian. Others only allow up to two children per adult, and some facilities only have certain hours when children can visit.

    At Service Network for Children of Inmates, we feel it is vital that children visit their parents in correctional facilities. It is a necessary part of the healing process that they must go through in coming to terms with the crimes and punishment of their parents. To prohibit them from visiting their parents can lead to, like the mother mentioned above, psychological damage in the long run. Numerous studies, some of which we have quoted and referenced in our previous blog posts, have proven the fact that these visits are beneficial to the child.

    What do you think — should children be allowed to see their incarcerated parent? Should all jails and prisons have rules permitting children visits? Have you or someone you know come across rules that don’t allow children to visit their parents in correctional facilities?

    Share your thoughts below:

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by  karinabeazer11/20/2014 11:58 AM

I think that children should be allowed to see their incarcerated parents. Usually, it is an adult that would even be making the decision to take them anyway. So, the child would not be responsible. I believe that it would be more detrimental to their mental health if they were not able to see their parents. Perhaps the number of visits could be limited, but I do think that they should be able to see their parents.

by  Amber12/6/2012 8:48 PM

Hi, My husband of 8 years years went to jail for a DUI. I came to found out today that i cannot bring our children to see him AT ALL! NO CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18! When i had to tell my 4,5,and 11 year old that they would not be allowed to visit there dad at all..... they cried! I gathered all of them in my arms and cried with them. It's hard enough for them to lose a wonderful dad and me to lose a hard working husband, but to keep his children from seeing him for ten months? who's punishment is this.... his or ours? I also found out that i cannot send letters, or pictures. only postcards with blue or black ink no bigger than 4x6 no smaller than 3x5. So not only are they not allowed to see each other, but he won't even be able to watch them grow in pictures for at least 10 months. i cant send him the pictures they drew him, or letters of there growth without the correctional staff reading it onn a post card??? How is this right? How come this is not cruel, not cruel to me, him and our babies? What do i do??? Just let him forget what they look like.... let them forget what a wonderful, funny, hard working, loving man he is? I am at a loss and so fustrated..... WHAT DO I DO TO FIX THIS.... not just for my kids but all the other kids that wont be able to see there mother/father bc they are in jail!!!! I live in Florida and the name of the jail is St. Lucie County (ROCK RD.)