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Bureau of Justice Statistics Releases First Comprehensive Look at Children with Incarcerated Parents

12/5/2000:   The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released a report entitled Incarcerated Parents and Their Children.

This document synthesizes various data from the 1997 Surveys of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities and provides some hard statistics about the numbers of children affected by parental incarceration.

The report provides information about the caregiver situations of these children, including the number of children in foster care and the frequency and type of contact that they have with their incarcerated parents. Information concerning the familial characteristics of the incarcerated parents themselves is included as well.

The numbers presented in this report understate by several hundred thousand the full scope of the total population of children affected since it focuses only on state and federal prisoners and doesn't account for those parents incarcerated elsewhere (e.g. detention centers, local jails, etc).

Highlights of the report, in addition to the full text (in several formats) are available at the following URL:


You can learn even more about children with incarcerated parents at: http://www.cwla.org/programs/incarcerated/

Check out our latest publication on this topic. The handbook Working with Children and Families Separated by Incarceration, by Cynthia Seymour and Lois Wright, discusses the effects of parental incarceration, and the community services that should be available to support and preserve families. It also outlines child welfare practice needs and provides suggestions in areas such as child protection, temporary placement in out-of-home care, permanency planning, and family reunification.

This new title is available through our publications site at http://www.cwla.org/pubs/pubdetails.asp?PUBID=7831

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