There are many different mechanisms and theories today to help children cope with the life they are handed. How incarceration affects individual level When a parent is incarcerated, they do not just give up their freedom. They also reject and forsake the children and family they have left behind. These children suffer in many different ways. According to the American Bar Foundation, Roughly, half of all confined people in the United States are parents.
The challenges posed to children and families of the incarcerated individual are significant. Not only are the children faced with the trauma of loss, they are also faced with a myriad of other challenges both in the economic and social realm. For imprisoned mothers, separation from their children is considered one of the greatest punishments imposed by incarceration. As the number of children whose parents are incarcerated increases, so do their needs. Children of prisoners have an overwhelming amount of needs.
The world has been fundamentally changed by mass incarceration, with millions of individuals sitting in prisons today. These children are sometimes handed over to the state, and they are sometimes left in one-parent homes. Occasionally, they are given to relatives who try to raise them in a productive manner. While their individual outcomes can be much different, all of these children share one important characteristic – they lack the ideal parenting situation. Facts suggest that these children are put at a significant disadvantage when it comes to cognitive ability and school performance.
They struggle while in prison and t causes a significant change within themselves, while incarcerated and after being released. The majority of those incarcerated, will be released back into society and this means society needs to work together in order to help them restore and rehabilitate. Many inmates are released after serving only two thirds of their sentence. Many entered prison with little to no employment experience or education, addictions. They have a history of childhood abuse/neglect, and most come from an impoverished background/poverty, have mental health issues, negative peer influences.
Being the child of an incarcerated parent has substantial amounts of negative influences on youth today. As young children, many consider their parents as role models. Someone who they can confide in, someone who will preserve them, and someone who will guide them through life. For most youngsters having an incarcerated parent, means that their admirable example in life is absent. Not having a parent present in one's childhood leads to innumerable negative outcomes and impacts.
The parental support needed during these times is often lacking, because parents are so wrapped up in their own problems during a divorce that their ability to function as parents diminishes (Wallerstein and Blakeslee 125). All of these issues affect children because of the stress, conflict, and difficulty th...
The challenges of children who grow up with parents whom were incarcerated at some point in their childhood can have a major effect on their life. The incarceration of parents can at times begin to affect the child even at birth. Now with prison nurseries the impregnated mother can keep her baby during her time in jail. With the loss of their parent the child can begin to develop behavioral problems with being obedient, temper tantrums, and the loss of simple social skills. Never learning to live in a society they are deprived of a normal social life.
Gretchen Newby (2006) attacks this subject in her article, “After Incarceration: Adolescent-Parent Reunification”. Of course, there are a lot of preceding measures to consider before reunification of an incarcerated parent and their child, including how their relationship was before the arrest, how often they were in contact while the parent was in prison, whether this parent attended programs such as rehabilitation or parenting classes, and of course how the caregiver feels about the child and parent relationship. Before reunifying them, it is also important for the child’s caregiver or social worker to talk to the child about the difficulties their parent may have faced while incarcerated, and that they may not act how the child wishes they would at first. It is also important to speak to the parent beforehand about what their child feels and expects. Tons of children experience reunification with an incarcerated parent, but we need to pay closer attention to how they’re being impacted through this.
Some families struggle for years before the word “divorce” becomes a topic of conversation. Divorce is devastating news for everyone. It breaks the hearts of many, especially the children involved. “Children of divorce are among the most abused members of society,” (Children of Divorce pg 41). Not only do the children suffer emotionally, but some often suffer financially as well.
A serious issue facing this country today is the 2.7 million children currently being left behind with incredible pain while their parents are being placed behind bars (Maier 91). They are left behind with not only pain, but the struggles of living day to day life without the guidance of their parents, as well as having to find a new home. According to child development specialist and the founding director of the Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents, Denise Johnston, “there are over 10 million minor children in the United States who have dealt with parental incarceration over the course of time” (91). The Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS) program needs to take the initiative in the process of reunification between parents who have been incarcerated, and the children which whom they leave behind. The Big Brother Big Sister program is designed to nurture children that have not had that sense of connection before, also helping them to recognize their potential, as well as helping them to build a bright future.