Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Trends In Incarcerated Parents

New Report From the Sentencing Project.
Mass incarceration has had significant and long-lasting impacts on American society, and particularly on communities of color. There is now a growing awareness that parents who go to prison do not suffer the consequences alone; the children of incarcerated parents often lose contact with their parent and visits are sometimes rare. Children of incarcerated parents are more likely to drop out of school, engage in delinquency, and subsequently be incarcerated themselves.1

In 2007 there were 1.7 million children in America with a parent in prison, more than 70% of whom were children of color. Children of incarcerated parents live in a variety of circumstances. Some were previously in homes of two-parent families, where the non-incarcerated parent can assume primary responsibility for the children. Many children, especially in cases of women’s incarceration, were in single-parent homes and are then cared for by a grandparent or other relative, if not in foster care. And in some cases, due to substance abuse and other factors, incarcerated parents had either not lived with their children or not provided a secure environment for them. Following release from prison both parents and children face challenges in reuniting their families. Parents have to cope with the difficulty of finding employment and stable housing while also reestablishing a relationship with their children.

The increasing incarceration of women means that more mothers are being incarcerated than ever before. There is some evidence that maternal incarceration can be more damaging to a child than paternal incarceration, which results in more children now suffering negative consequences. The number of incarcerated mothers has more than doubled (122%) from 29,500 in 1991 to 65,600 in 2007.
1 Dallaire,


Anonymous said...

When Mom or Dad goes to prison, the whole family is imprisoned. The child cannot readily communicate with the parent or express his feelings. The person who is left to care for the family tries hard to stay positive, but may also be resentful for being put in the situation. Children at school are embarrassed to talk about their imprisoned parent. Instead they act out or silently withdraw hoping no one will see their shame.

I've seen the effect on children in my classroom. And I've taught the parents in jail or prison who are grieving for their children. I don't have an answer, but the consequences for the children are real.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the teacher, as i am guardian for a twelve year old girl. I have watched her emotional suffering, grieving, lashing out at the criminal justice system. Her mother was arrested for a white collar crime, is a non violent inmate, been raped in prison, has served all of her original sentence but remains there in prison so the DOC can cover up there crimes of rape. Her Warden was JOAN SHOEMAKER, who put the inmate in AD-SEG, (23 hr day lock up) loss of all priveledges, (visits from her daughter) no mail from her best friend, back in april of 2004 and still remains in prison??? Does Bill Ritter your governor care?? No he wont even answer his mail. djw

Anonymous said...