From Prison to Home: The Effect of Incarceration and Reentry on Children, Families, and Communities

01/31/2002

The conference summary report synthesizes key aspects of the Prisons to Home project including the state symposium discussions, conference plenary and break-out sessions, and the research papers developed for the conference. The report is not a complete record of the conference presentations, rather, it captures the common themes and salient tensions that emerged and their implications for children, families, and communities. Presented research and the subsequent discussions identified children, families, and former prisoners who have experienced incarceration as a group at high risk for adverse child, adult, and family outcomes. Many conference participants expressed hope that addressing these needs could reduce the risks of recidivism, substance abuse relapse, and family violence. Throughout the conference participants noted examples of many public policy and program areas that could better serve prisoners and their families and these are noted in the conference report. Highlights from the conference discussion that may be helpful in developing future interventions and research at the local, state, and federal level include: maintenance of family ties during incarceration; preparation of prisoners and their families for reentry; implementation of coordinated community programs; coordination of systems and resources; information sharing among and between systems; and conducting basic research on children and families of prisoners and policy impact.

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