Children whose parents have been arrested and incarcerated face unique difficulties. Many have experienced the trauma of sudden separation from their sole caregiver, and most are vulnerable to feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, depression and guilt. They may be moved from caretaker to caretaker. The behavioral consequences can be severe, absent positive intervention—emotional withdrawal, failure in school, delinquency and risk of intergenerational incarceration. 1 Yet these children seem to fall through the cracks. Police do not routinely ask at the time of arrest whether their prisoners have children, nor do sentencing judges or correctional agencies regularly raise this question. Since no agency collects data about these children, “…it is unclear how many are affected, who they are, or where they live.”
Follow the link for the full study: California Study on Children of Incarcerated parents.