Effects of Incarceration Essay

3997 Words Apr 28th, 2011 16 Pages
Incarceration can have multiple profound effects on a person. While the goal of incarceration is to rehabilitate the person to follow laws, the result is often isolation and loss of valuable resources that a person needs to maintain a positive role outside the prison system. Many people are affected by the incarceration of a person, from the family, to the community and employers, to society in general. Here is a brief look at some of those affected by a person's incarceration. 1. Children * The worst effects of incarceration can be found in the children of those who are in jail. The children can develop feelings of anger and abandonment. These feelings can be directed to other children, law enforcement or to the other parent. …show more content…
Paternal incarceration—in its direct and indirect effects alike, to varying degrees—is detrimental to child socio-emotional development, often posing irreparable damage, absent any mitigating protective factors.

The loss of a father through incarceration has affected two-parent households in the past, but with the dramatic increase in the number of males being incarcerated since 1990 (Arditti et al., 2003), the resultant number of single-mother households has similarly increased. The most recent national account for the number of males in State and Federal prisons indicates that 55% of State prisoners (or 593,800) and 63% of Federal prisoners (or 74,100) reported having at least one minor child—a combined total of 1,372,700 minor children (Mumola, 2000). It was also found that 20.2% of fathers in State prison and 32.9% of fathers in Federal prison specified living with their children in a two-parent household. The minimum number of children, then, who lived with both a mother and a father, is 144,326, which accounts for roughly 10% of the total number of children affected by parental incarceration. These 10% are the focus of this study.

Paternal incarceration creates a temporary single-parenting system, in which the mother acts as sole guardian, but imprisonment tends to produce far worse effects on children than do other causes of parent-child

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