This report explores the impact of parental incarceration on children, families, and communities and recommends policies and practices that put the needs of children of incarcerated parents first. It emphasizes the need for on correctional systems, communities, and state and local public agencies to help stabilize families and preserve their connections during incarceration and successfully move forward once parents come home. Characteristics of incarcerated parents and their children are described, as well as the following impacts of incarceration: an added financial burden, a blow to child and family health and well-being, and a drain on community resources and opportunity. New obstacles for families when parents return are also discussed, including barriers to employment and housing. Charts list the number of children who have had a parent in jail or prison by State and provide specific information on communities in Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Providence. The report closes with recommendations for building a stronger support system for children of incarcerated parents. Recommendations include: ensure children are supported while parents are incarcerated and after they return, connect parents who have returned to the community with pathways to employment, and strengthen communities to promote family stability and opportunity. 80 references.
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A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities.