Parents in Prison
One out of 15 kids in Maryland–more than 80-thousand young people –has had a parent behind bars at some point during their childhood. Nationwide, it’s more than 5 million children. How does that affect kids and the communities they live in? Research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that the ripple effects for a child can be far-reaching and long-lasting. The emotional distress is on par with abuse, domestic violence, or divorce. And when a parent is put away, family incomes can drop sharply, adding to the stress. Is this collateral damage part of the price those convicted of crimes should pay? Or are there ways to minimize the impact of incarceration on innocent children? We discuss with Ryan Chao, vice-president for civic sites and community change for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Joseph Jones, president for the Center for Urban Families.