|Research Central: Data on Characteristics, Risk Factors, and Protective Factors of Children With Incarcerated Parents|
|By Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention|
An estimated 1.7 million youth younger than age 18 have at least one parent currently in prison in the United States, and millions more have a parent currently in jail. Incarcerated parents and their children are a diverse group, and associations between parental incarceration and developmental outcomes are complicated. Research has shown that having an incarcerated parent can present individual and environmental risks for the child and increase the likelihood of negative outcomes.
OJJDP awarded grants to a practitioner-researcher partnership to develop and evaluate new mentoring practices that serve the needs of youth whose biological parent, legal guardian, or informal primary caregiver is incarcerated in a prison or jail. The study regarding the effectiveness of the mentoring practices is ongoing; however, the research team has collected detailed information about a large sample (1,350 children) from states across the country whose parents are incarcerated.
Because there is no national survey of children with incarcerated parents, this large sample is increasing the juvenile justice field’s understanding of the unique strengths and needs of this population. Following are highlights of the current data:
For more information about the Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Demonstration Project, visit the OJJDP website.
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