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1. according to, nearly 10 million children nationwide have a parent who is or has been under some form of criminal-justice supervision. In 2007 alone, 1.7 million children, half of who were younger the age of 10, had a parent in prison.


2. Most law-enforcement agencies lack training and protocols on how and where to place children when a parent is arrested and incarcerated.


3. Women offenders and children: Approximately 7 in 10 women under correctional sanction have minor children, more than 1,300.00.


4. 10% of incarcerated mothers have a child in foster home or other state care.


5. 11% of children in foster care have a mother who was incarcerated for at least some period of time while her children were in foster care.


6. 85% of the children of an incarcerated mother were placed in foster care prior to the mother’s incarceration. The average stay in foster care for a child with an incarcerated mother is 3.9 years.


7. Children of incarcerated mothers are 4 times more likely to be still in foster care than other children. They are more likely to age out of the foster care system and less likely to reunify with their parents. They are more likely getting adopted and entered into subsidized guardianship. They are less likely to go into independent living on leave through some other means.


8. Reunification is 21% for children of incarcerated mothers versus 4% for all children. Adoption is 37% for children of incarcerated mothers versus 27% for all children.






  • More likely than other children to be incarcerated as adults.

  • Financial instability/hardship.

  • Instability in family relationships and structure/higher residential mobility.

  • More likely to display behavioral problems at school.

  • More like to achieve lower academic performance.

  • More like to feel the social/institutional stigma of shame.

  • There is evidence that maintaining contact with one’s incarcerated parents improves a child’s emotional response to the incarceration and supports parents-child attachment.


There are no studies on how many children have been murdered or died from a car accident or medical diseases while a parent has been incarcerated. Likewise, there are no studies on how many parents who are left behind have died from cancer, heart and liver diseases, etc., while the other parent was incarcerated.





**Information taken from: Bureau Of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice

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