Reflections and Conclusions
Personal reflections on the chapters in this book and the field at large are offered by the author, who has worked with parents involved in the criminal justice system and their children for the past thirty years. In the decades since publishing her first article on the children of incarcerated parents, the US correctional population has grown significantly. Prisons and jails are now a major industry, housing millions of individuals each year, consuming billions of taxpayers’ dollars while also generating billions of dollars for private firms that now provide prison-based products and services. Studies about crime, criminals, and criminal justice institutions abound. Annual statistics on correctional populations, crime mapping tools, criminal risk assessment instruments, recidivism studies, and the like are all now readily available and accessible. Though not nearly as prolific or as well-funded, studies about the children, families, and communities of the incarcerated have grown in number as well. As documented in this book, there has been a significant progress in the development of scientific knowledge about the impact of incarceration on families and children and a growing acceptance of policies and programs to prevent negative outcomes for the children of incarcerated parents. Major points from the diverse set of chapters in this volume are summarized, and recommendations are made for future work in the field.
KeywordsParenting programs Family-oriented programs Parent–child relationships People of color Minority populations Prevention Intervention Community-based participatory research
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