Prison Rates for Parents of Black Teens

MADISON, N.J., Aug. 10 (UPI) — More than half of black U.S. children with a low-education parent will experience having a parent behind bars by age 14, researchers found.

Julie Poehlmann of the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and colleagues estimated that at any one time, 1.7 million, or 2.3 percent, of all U.S. children have a parent in prison.


Problems — the children tend to have more arrests; more problems with behavior, relationships, school and substance abuse — are particularly acute when the mother is in jail or prison.

“It’s more likely that the child will move out of house, and be placed with grandparents,” Poehlmann said in a statement. “They are more likely to change schools and have a higher risk of substance abuse and the father is also likely to be incarcerated.

“Children of incarcerated parent are at least two-and-a-half times more likely to be incarcerated themselves,” she said.

A strong, close attachment with the alternative caregiver can mitigate a teen’s problems, Poehlmann said.

Nonetheless, despite the risks, 25 percent to 30 percent of children escape the worst harm, Poehlmann finds.

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Categorized | Education, Other
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