In the United States, 2.7 million children have a parent who is incarcerated. In New York alone, there are 105,000 children living under these circumstances.
Children impacted by parental incarceration often face uncertainty and trauma from changing living arrangements, including moving from one caregiver to the next or being separated from their siblings. Beyond these stressors, children with an incarcerated loved one may struggle with the stigma and shame of having a parent in prison.
If a child loses a parent due to death or is separated as a result of divorce or military deployment, they receive sympathy and understanding from society. When a parent is away serving time in prison, the child most likely does not receive the same level of compassion and empathy from their community.