Parental incarceration is also disproportionately concentrated among black, poor, and rural children. The inequitable and racialized distribution of parental incarceration can lead to other negative exposures, including child poverty.
“While children and adolescents live with their other parent or guardian, parental incarceration can disrupt their access to care due to loss of health insurance and fewer caregivers to help with responsibilities such as than routine medical visits”, explains Dr. Traderthe lead author of the study.
The findings of the study support structural interventions aimed at addressing the disruption of childhood care in early adulthood among people exposed to parental incarceration. This covers multiple levels of intervention, including clinical screening tools, institutional efforts to support families and communities impacted by incarceration, and policy interventions to improve access to care for this marginalized population of children.
“Adverse childhood experiences like parental incarceration are not just isolated experiences, they are symptoms of larger structural challenges,” said Dr. Rohan Khazanchi, the lead author of the study. “Health and social service organizations should address parental incarceration as a public health issue by developing programs to support families during and after periods of parental incarceration, so that children are not penalized. Leaders of the criminal justice system should also recognize the impact of their sentencing decisions on entire families and identify opportunities to minimize negative consequences for children, including, where possible, decarceration.
Suggested approaches in jails and prisons to help support families include training staff on the impact of parents’ incarceration on children and families, ensuring parents’ needs are assessed on admission , connecting affected families with community resources, supporting family visits between parents, their children, and the systems that impact their children (e.g., their children’s teachers), implementing evidence-based parent management training programs, involving caregivers in settlement programming and including caregivers and children in reintegration planning.
The study authors conclude that cross-sector and trauma-informed partnerships between prisons, prisons, policymakers and clinicians are needed to reduce the life-altering effects of incarceration on future generations.
boston for kids Boston Medical Center/Hospital Boston Medical Center (BMC) is a 514-bed, private, not-for-profit academic medical center that is the primary teaching affiliate of Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine. It is the largest and most active provider of trauma and emergency services in New England. BMC provides specialist care for complex health conditions and is a leading research institution, receiving more than $110 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2021. It is the 13th largest funding recipient in the WE from National Institutes of Health among independent hospitals. WellSense Health Plan was founded in 1997 as Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, now one of the nation’s top-ranked Medicaid MCOs, as a nonprofit managed care organization. Boston Medical Center and Chobanian & Avedisian SOM are partners of Boston HealthNet – 12 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit http://www.bmc.org.
Lurie for kids Hospital research at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago is led by Stanley Manne Children’s research Institute. The Manna Research Institute focuses on improving the health of children, transforming pediatric medicine, and ensuring a healthier future through the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children’s is ranked among the nation’s top children’s hospitals by US News and World Report. This is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Hennepin Health Hennepin Health is an integrated system of care which includes HCMC, a public acute care, research and teaching hospital. The Hennepin Health Research Institute is Minnesota’s third-largest nonprofit medical research organization. It ranks in the top 10 percent of all institutions receiving research funding from the National Institutes of Health.
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