. . . Children in Crisis
- More than 1.5 million children in the United States have a parent in jail or prison.
- Women in State prisons alone are mothers to more than 56,000 children.
- Foster care for a prisoner's child costs $20,000 a year in New York State, adding to the cost of incarcerating mothers.
- 60% of mothers in prison are incarcerated more than 100 miles from their children, making visitation difficult and often impossible.
- More than half of the women in State prisons never see their children during their incarceration.
- Many prisoners' children are cared for by maternal grandmothers, yet many states do not recognize family relations as legitimate foster care and deny them financial and social service supports.
- Nearly 25% of prisoners' children are placed in non-relative foster care, contributing to the break-up of families.
- Mothers in prison can literally lose their children in the foster care system as the child is shifted from family to family; the woman prisoner must depend on prison officials who are often indifferent to the child's whereabouts or needs.
- Children of prisoners experience anger, alienation, hostility toward authority, feelings of abandonment and overall dysfunction. Without community support, children of prisoners often have difficulty in school and develop behavioral problems.
- 40% of the troubled children who come in contact with New York's Department of Juvenile Justice have a parent who is incarcerated.
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