Incarceration and the Family: A Review of Research and Promising Approaches for Serving Fathers and Families. 1.2 Purpose of This Report

09/01/2008

In order to develop effective family strengthening programs and policies, we need a better understanding of the characteristics of incarcerated individuals, their partner and parenting relationships, and the processes through which imprisonment and reentry may undermine these attachments. This document is intended to be such a resource for the field. We begin in Chapter 2 by describing men in prison, including their sociodemographics, marital and parenting status, and criminal justice characteristics. In Chapter 3, we discuss the effects of incarceration on marriage and partner relationships. Chapter 4 focuses on the effect incarceration has on children. In Chapter 5, we address the challenges of reentry on the marital/partner relationship, and issues concerning the father-child relationship at reentry are presented in Chapter 6. In Chapter 7 we describe programs designed to strengthen families both in prison and after release, before going on to discuss the challenges of implementing such programs in Chapter 8. Finally, we close with a summary of the state of the field in Chapter 9.

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