The Unintended Victims of Mass Incarceration: The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Children

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cynthia Rose Edmonds (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Daniel Murphy

Abstract: Despite a declining economy, one business that continues to grow is the prison industry. The national prison population has increased by eight fold since 1970. Literature shows that it is not only criminals affected by the increasing rates of incarceration but also the children that they leave behind. In this thesis, by compiling a review of the literature, the overall effect of parental incarceration on children will be examined. The social, psychological, and intergenerational challenges that children face as well as the obstacles parents face behind bars will be explored. Furthermore, there will be an examination of whether the effects on a child are different if they have an incarcerated mother, father, or both as well as a comparative analysis of programs for children and their parent(s), in order to determine whether these programs are both accessible and successful. Finally, the societal implications of parental incarceration will be analyzed, and the potential need for changes in the prison system to mitigate the negative effects of incarceration in child-rearing will be discussed.

Additional Information

Edmonds, C.R. (2012). The Unintended Victims of Mass Incarceration: The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Children. Unpublished master's thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2012
Incarceration, Children of Incarcerated Parents, Intergenerational Crime, Prison Reform, Prison Programs

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