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Removing Barriers to Opportunity for Parents With Criminal Records and Their Children: A Two-Generation Approach.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Vallas, Rebecca.
Boteach, Melissa.
West, Rachel.
Odum, Jackie.
Corporate Author: 
Center for American Progress
Page Count: 

This report explores the intergenerational effects of criminal records through five pillars of family well-being. The five pillars include: the impact of criminal records on income and the major obstacles parents with criminal records face in securing employment and receiving public assistance; the impact of mounting criminal justice debts and unaffordable child support arrears on families’ ability to save for the future; the impact on education, including the barriers parents with criminal records face to education and training opportunities that would increase their chances of findings well-paying jobs and better equip them to support their families; the impact on public as well as private housing that make family reunification difficult if not impossible; and financial and emotional stressors that often pose challenges to parents with criminal records in maintaining healthy relationships and family stability. The case is made for a two-generation approach to addressing barriers to opportunities associated with having a criminal record. The two-generation approach seeks to combat intergenerational poverty by boosting education, health and well-being, economic supports, and social capital for parents and their children. Policy recommendations are then offered to assist both parents with criminal records and their children. 132 references.