The Forgotten Victim

The Forgotten Victim

Since 1980, the percentage of Americans that have been imprisoned or jailed has increased enormously. Mass incarceration is the tremendously high rates of imprisonment, particularly African Americans. This has made incarceration almost a common occurrence for many African Americans. One thing that people don’t realize with the mass incarceration is that there are many people that are also punished. Mass incarceration is leaving many children with imprisoned parents.
Over 2% of the U.S children fewer than 18 have a parent in prison. These children face many disadvantages; some include lower level of education, social exclusion, and a higher likelihood to end in prison. These children are the forgotten victims. With the higher rates of incarceration, many children are faced with these problems. Many children feel that they are facing these problems alone when in fact there are many who devote their lives to helping them and making sure that they succeed.
While parents are incarcerated, children are affected by many things. These things can cause short and long term affects on their life. Some of the major effects that are seen on children is the economic decline,……………
The majority of the time when a parent is in prison, it is the father. In many cases, the father had a job before being incarcerated and was the bread winner for his family (Nielsen, 2012 pg 239). This economic decline causes major stress on the family but mainly the child. With the loss of income, the mother or other caregiver is left with the burden of picking up the slack. Picking up the slack forces the caregiver to get two or more jobs; this keeps them from actually caring for their children.
While caregivers are working multiple jobs, chi...

... middle of paper ... of their life. One of the more serious effects is one that Joyce Arditti focuses on. This is the lack of respect for authority figures that children often learn to live with. They can get this attitude from the treatment they receive from correction officers while visiting their parent or from witnessing police arrest and take away their parent.
With the similar views between the book by Arditti and the article by Parke and Clarke-Stewart, one of the most seen effect that the loss of respect for the authorities. This leads us to the next effect in which it is believed that when a child has a parent in prison, the child is more likely to end up in prison themselves.

Works Cited

Arditti, J. A. (2012). Parental incarceration and the family: Psychological and social effects of imprisonment on children, parents, and caregivers. New York: New York University Press.

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