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Real-World Impact of ABF Research

March 2, 2015, ABF news

Charles E. Wood, of Southborough, MA, a Life Fellow of the ABF, recently put ABF research to use in the courtroom. His client, a father, had admitted guilt to a non-violent offense and knew that prison time was a certainty. When Mr. Wood made his presentation on sentencing on behalf of his client, he referred the judge directly to ABF research being conducted by Research Professor John Hagan on the limited educational prospects for children of incarcerated parents:

  • High U.S. parental incarceration rates jeopardize innocent children’s rights to educational opportunities. Hagan found that:
  • The overall U.S. College graduation rate of 40% drops to 1-2% among children of mothers who are imprisoned and to about 15% for children of imprisoned fathers.

“The judge knew about the ABF,” said Mr. Wood, “and it was this argument that the judge paid attention to. The DA wanted a sentence of a year-and-a-half, but the judge gave my client eight months.” He added, “It would have been irresponsible to my client not to use this research.”

Watch John Hagan talk about his research on parental incarceration below:

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