Parental incarceration affecting children, communities

INDIANAPOLIS — In a 2011-12 report, at 11 percent, Indiana has the second highest rate in the nation of children who’ve had a parent serve jail or prison time. While those mothers and fathers are doing time, their children are serving a different kind of sentence. Research shows these children are more prone to health problems, depression, poor academic performance and delinquency. They also are more likely to live in poverty and are at higher risk of being uninsured and homeless.

The Indiana Youth Institute (IYI) first brought this issue to light with its 2015 KIDS COUNT® in Indiana data book, its KIDS COUNT® Radio Show and column, Parents Behind Bars. In a new report, the Annie E. Casey Foundation is making recommendations to state and local policymakers on how to provide support to these children and set the family up for success and reunification once the adult is released. Details on those recommendations can be found in A Shared Sentence, which will be available April 25 at 12:01 a.m. EDT at Additional information is available at This coincides with National Reentry Week from the Department of Justice, which focuses on the need for effective reentry services. National Reentry Week runs April 24 – April 30.

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