Incarcerated Parenting: How Family Relationships can be Beneficial

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CONFERENCE: Scholars Week

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Porter, Bailey
Family, Life Course, and Society; Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance
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The United States maintains one of the highest incarceration rates in the entire world. The disturbing reality of these mass incarcerations is that they do not exclusively impact the offender, but the friends, family, and most importantly, the children of these incarcerated individuals. A startling number of children in the United States are separated from their biological parent through incarcerations. The effects of this separation are rarely considered in legislation.In the past few years, there has been a rise in programs designed to help maintain relationships between families and incarcerated individuals. One of the goals of these family programs is to increase the likelihood that the inmate will maintain a positive relationship with their children. My goal is to examine if maintaining a relationship between incarcerated parent and child are beneficial for both parties. I examine the effectiveness of the family programs, along with visitation and other forms of communication. I also examine the challenges associated with maintaining these relationships. The ultimate goal is to determine if the benefits of relationship maintenance outweigh the associated costs.