Posted: Wednesday, 01 January 2014 5:06AM

More Children Struggling with Parents in Prison



Having a parent in prison is more common than childhood autism in the U-S.

That detail was revealed in a new report from Volunteers of America, which seeks to raise awareness of what life is like for the children and their caregivers.

Beth Poffenberger Lovell with Volunteers of America says there is deep stigma for children that becomes more significant as the child grows older.


             

The U-S Department of Justice estimates that one-point-75 million children under the age of 18 currently have a parent in prison. Millions more have been affected at some point in their lives, and most of the children are from low-income families of color.

Lovell says it's important that everyone understands that these children are innocent bystanders.




Recommendations in the report include providing safe environments so children can visit parents more often, and do so in areas that don’t look like prisons. Volunteers of America runs several pilot programs around the country where they "coach" incarcerated parents and offer assistance to those caring for the children.

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