CSSCFI will advance research and scholarship on children, caregivers, and families affected by incarceration.

According to information released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (2016), there are approximately 2.5 million children with parents in the criminal justice system in the U.S. This number represents an increase in the last decade and this number varies significantly by race.

The literature on this population of children indicates that as a consequence of parental incarceration, these children experience a host of academic, mental health, and physical challenges as parents are arrested, convicted, incarcerated, and return home. However, there are several gaps in this work:

  • Few studies concentrate on the experiences of children of color with parents in the criminal justice system.
  • Little research is devoted to exploring the challenges experienced by children placed in the foster care system (as a result of parental incarceration).
  • Little work is done to address the immediate and long-term health issues of children with parents in the criminal justice system.
  • Few studies address the physical, mental health, social, and financial challenges experienced by caregivers of these children.
  • A scant body of work focuses on maternal reentry from prison.