When locking them up means mom or dad are no longer home
Half of the prison population in the United States are parents, a new deep dive from the Sentencing Project on parental incarceration
1/2 : the population of people imprisoned in the United States with kids under 18
2.7 million: children with a parent serving time in prison or jail on any given day
over 5.2 million: those with an incarcerated parent at some point during their lives
20%: Native children who experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives
13%: Black children who experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives
6%: Latinx children who experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives
6%: white children experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives
626,800: imprisoned fathers of minors
57,700: imprisoned mothers of minors
a higher percent of women in prison are parents than men
58,000: admissions of pregnant people to prisons and jails every year
“Between 1991 and 2016, the latest year for which national data is available, the number of fathers in prison increased 48% and the number of mothers increased 96%.”
500 miles: the average distance between prison and home in the federal prison system
“Distance from prison facilities, amongst other barriers, makes in-person visits difficult—and in many cases, nearly impossible.”
The impact on parenthood after release
“As of August 2021, twenty-one states still impose full or modified bans on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for people with a felony drug conviction. Twenty-four states—and Washington DC—impose full or modified bans on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits for people with a felony drug conviction.”
“Because of the disparate racial effects of the criminal legal system, women of color are disproportionately impacted by TANF and SNAP bans.21 These restrictions continue despite mounting evidence that access to assistance programs lowers recidivism and helps justice-involved parents meet their children’s basic needs.”
Read the whole study here.
Resources: State policy changes. News. Bureau of Prisons updates. State court changes. Prison holistic self care and protection. Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook.
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