Issues and Facts
  • Why Children Should Visit Their Incarcerated Parents

    Posted on   12/16/2013  4:04 PM

    At the Service Network for Children of Inmates, we believe that prison visitation is vital to the development of the children we serve. Four times a year, we take children to see their parents in prison, when appropriate. We’ve seen very positive results.

    There are many people—from child protective services workers to parents to caregivers of children of inmates—who question whether children should visit their parents in prison. They might also wonder how the child will react to seeing a loved one in the prison setting.

    However, numerous studies have found that it’s overwhelmingly beneficial for children to visit their incarcerated parents. Studies have found that children who regularly see their incarcerated parents score higher on measures of well-being, IQ, emotional adjustment, and behavioral measures. In addition, frequent visitation means the child is less likely to experience feelings of abandonment.

    Visitation not only strengthens the bond between child and parent, but improves the morale and attitude of the incarcerated parent as well. Research depicts that prisoners who have more contact with their children and loved ones are less likely to return to prison. That results in the saving of public dollars.

    It’s important to keep in mind that although they can be remarkably resilient, children of inmates are more likely to grow up and go to prison themselves. The good news is that contact with their incarcerated parents decreases these chances.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve written about this topic on our blog. We continue to bring attention to this because more people need to understand the benefits of children visiting their parents in jail or prison. Children of inmates have been a rapidly growing population of all ages. Through our work, we hope to help break the cycle and help these children live healthier and happier lives.

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by  Denise Gladle12/31/2013 2:51 PM

Is there such a program here in South Carolina?