This week, Justice Strategies rolled out their excellent new report, "Children on the Outside: Voicing the Pain and Human Costs of Parental Incarceration," by Patricia Allard and Judith Greene. Read it here.
We knew that the USA's enormous prison population has high monetary costs and even higher human costs, but this paper documents the particular costs of separating families. Parental incarceration triples the odds that children will engage in violence or drug abuse, and doubles their odds of developing serious mental health issues. There are more children of incarcerated parents than there are total incarcerated persons; nearly 25% of the 1.7 million children with incarcerated parents are under age four, and over 33% will become adults while their parents are locked up.