Saturday, July 11, 2015
From KAGS News:
It’s not “cupcakes and lollipops” for most children who visit a parent in prison.
Two-thirds of those children report having negative experiences such as fear, anger, anxiety, and related reactions, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Justice by Melinda Tasca, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at Sam Houston State University.
The study, “‘It’s Not All Cupcakes and Lollipops:’ An Investigation of the Predictors and Effects of Prison Visitation for Children during Maternal and Paternal Incarceration,” found that 65 percent of children reacted negatively to prison visitation, resulting in crying, emotional outbursts, depressive symptoms, poor attitudes, acting out, and developmental regression, according to interviews with caregivers of 40 children who have a parent incarcerated in the Arizona Department of Corrections.
One-third of children were reported to have had a positive experience, which included excitement and improved attitudes and behaviors.
“In-prison visitation may be considered a ‘reset’ button for prisoners, caregivers, and children as they attempt to settle the past, discuss the present and plan for the future,” Tasca said. “At the same time, however, prison visitation can be an arduous undertaking emotionally, physically, and economically for children and caregivers.”
Two primary factors shaped how children responded to visits with an incarcerated mother or father: the institutional environment and the parent-child relationship.
Read more here.