Decline in Family Visitation Programs Adversely Affects Children of Incarcerated Parents

Two recent studies, in Minnesota and Florida, have shown that family visitation reduces recidivism. Nevertheless, in the “tough on crime” era of the 1990s, the family visitation programs begun in the 1960s and 70s started being eliminated, ostensibly due to overcrowding.

Aside from family visitation’s positive effect on recidivism rates, according to the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated at Rutgers University, family visits—extended visits in particular—are helpful developmentally for kids. To learn more about the importance of visitation for children and read some sad and some heartening stories about real children affected by incarceration, we recommend this article in The Nation online magazine.

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