Researchers should spend more time analyzing the impact of incarceration on inmates’ families as they evaluate proposals for criminal justice reform, says a recent article published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
The article is part of the May issue of the journal, which discusses the impact of incarceration on the children and spouses of inmates, analyzing variations across different types of facilities and different types of crimes. (The articles are available to readers for a fee. Journalists who would like to read copies of the articles free of charge should email TCR Deputy Editor Alice Popovici at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Owing to almost 40 years of punitive policies, a “constellation of legal disabilities, piled disproportionately upon the poor and people of color, is overwhelmingly repressive and likely inflicts harm not only on individuals but also on families,” write authors Sara Wakefield, Hedwig Lee, and Christopher Wildeman in an article entitled “Tough on Crime, Tough on Families? Criminal Justice and Family Life in America.”
“For the children of incarcerated parents, parental incarceration increases mental health and behavioral problems, infant mortality, homelessness, grade retention, body mass index, harsh parenting, and material hardship, among many other social problems,” the authors write.
The American Academy of Political and Social Science is hosting a briefing on the research from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. today.