Issues and Facts
  • Black and Hispanic Children of Prisoners Have Hard Lives

    Posted on   12/5/2012  4:04 PM

    Before being arrested, many incarcerated parents were the primary source of financial support for their children.  

    As a result, not only do children of imprisoned parents have to deal with growing up without the love of a parent, but many of them also come to live in poverty, threatening their chances of ever living a healthy, financially stable life.

    Unfortunately, some of these children have it even worse than others.

    New research by the Children’s Defense Fund has found that black and Hispanic children have it the hardest.

    Hispanic children are almost twice as likely as white children to have a parent in prison, and young Hispanic children are almost two-and-a-half times as likely as white children to live in extreme poverty. And black children are more than six times as likely as white children to have a parent in prison and are seven times more likely than white children to be persistently poor.

    To put these statistics into context: as of 2011, 16.1 million children in the United States – more than one in five – were poor. Poverty can affect everything from health and education to family bonds. These adverse circumstances increase the likelihood that these children will end up in prison at some point in their lives.

    These are problems many decades in the making.

    But can you think of one – just one – solution to help children living in poverty and those of incarcerated parents who are propelled into poverty because of their parents’ mistakes?

    Comment below, and we’ll share it with our local elected officials and community leaders.


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by  Earl Smith3/15/2013 5:38 AM

Cumulative social disadvantages accrue to African American children when a parent (God forbid two) is incarcerated. Many of the crimes are non-violent and the US justice system still has problems with how it sentences people of color. Earl Smith

by  Chella 12/5/2012 8:20 PM

If only people weren't afraid of their situation. Psychologically, people would take distance so as to avoid being touched by all those needs which may seem overwhelming. These kids need a whole community but in our cities, normally families are on their own. That's the problem. I hope more people can really see kids in this situation as spirits looking to connect to somebody who is present for them. It doesn't take much, and wanting to help out would flow from those connections. Don't be afraid, and embrace a child who needs a caring person in their life.