Did you know more than five million children across the U.S. have had a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives? Children with an incarcerated parent are typically younger than 10 and living in low-income families. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, more than 15% of kids with parents in federal prison and more than 20% of kids with parents in state prison are four or younger.
Children who have an incarcerated parent are more likely to live in high-poverty neighborhoods. Losing a parent who provides half of a family’s income can create a heavy financial and emotional burden. This can lead to a lack of quality affordable housing, moving around from family to family, and feelings of chaos, disconnection, and mistrust.
Take a moment to think about the generational impact of incarceration on a four-year-old. What might life look like for them in the next 20 years? Statistics show it will be significantly harder for them to experience health and wellness than their peers who didn’t have an incarcerated parent.
"Being incarcerated put a toll on my family due to the
distance and the changes being made that they don't
see." -Current Client
More than half of the women in Iowa’s prisons are non-violent offenders and most struggle with mental illness and substance abuse. Programs like The Beacon are here to help Iowa’s parents recover and heal, so they can reunite with their children and work toward ending the generational cycles of poverty, substance use, homelessness, and incarceration.
Parental incarceration breaks up families and creates a number of challenges for children, with the most devastating impacts on their development and well-being. Together, we can support even more Iowa families. Will you help by setting up a recurring donation here?
In this together,
Melissa Vine, MA, LMHC