Incarceration and the Family: A Review of Research and Promising Approaches for Serving Fathers and Families. 6.4 Risk of Child Abuse


Research has not documented the prevalence of child abuse among children of incarcerated fathers or the implications of incarceration and reentry for child abuse. Nonetheless, programs that aim to strengthen father-child relationships of incarcerated fathers tend to exclude fathers who are incarcerated because of crimes against children (Dunn & Arbuckle, 2002; Jeffries et al., 2001). Researchers acknowledge that it is sometimes not safe for fathers to reestablish relationships with their children upon release from prison because of prior involvement in family violence. More intensive clinical efforts are needed for this group of fathers if they are to reconnect with their children (Festen et al., 2002; Travis, Solomon, & Waul, 2001). To ensure that children are protected, more attention to issues of child abuse and well-being is needed in planning for reentry of incarcerated fathers.

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