A report on the issues and questions concerning children of incarcerated parents

This report proposes a list of such questions, each followed by a discussion that is intended, not so much as a definitive answer, but as general background information. The information identifies nly general trends, since specific answers to the questions posed will differ by state, depending on factors such as the existing policy context and service array, demographic trends and available data.
What is the nature and scope of the problem?
How many children have a parent in prison and how many incarcerated parents have children?
Much of what we know about this issue comes from a series of reports by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) on incarcerated parents and their children, that in turn, are based upon periodic tional surveys of inmates in state and federal prisons. The latest such report was released in August 2008.2 It found that, in 2007, slightly more than 1.7 million children under age 18 had a parent in state or federal prison, representing 2.3 percent of the total U.S. child population. The number of children with a father in prison increased from 881,500 in 1991 to more than 1.5 million in 2007, a 77 percent increase. During that time, the number of children with a mother in prison increased by 131 percent, from 63,900 to 147,400.
In 2007, 744,200 male prison inmates had minor children, compared to 65,500 women inmates. Most prisoners had at least one child under age 18 (52 percent of state inmates and 63 percent of federal inmates). Sixty-two percent of women in state prison and 56 percent of female inmates in federal prison were parents of minor children, compared to 51 percent of male state prisoners and 63 percent ……………………


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