Since 1980, the number of incarcerated women in the U.S. has grown by more than 750%—at a rate twice that of men. And as the prison population has risen, so, too, has the number of children growing up with a mother or father behind bars. Studies have found that the toll parental incarceration takes on children is often far more severe when the inmate is their mother. More than 60% of women in state prisons, and nearly 80% of those in jail, have minor children—and most of these women are their children’s primary caretaker. Read more about this national scandal in this current NY Times article.
From The New York Times:
As More Mothers Fill Prisons, Children Suffer ‘A Primal Wound’
At least 5 million children have had a parent behind bars. The toll is exacting, from unstable homes to lasting effects on their well-being.