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Parental Incarceration

Authors: John Hagan, Holly Foster

This study is designed to better understand the difference that parental incarceration makes in the life of an adolescent.  American incarceration is four times larger than in the 1970s, six to ten times greater than in European and Scandinavian countries, and the majority of Americans who are imprisoned are parents.  Working with data collected from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which includes information from over 2000 sons and daughters of fathers who have spent time in jail or prison during the peak growth years of incarceration in this country, the project will trace the impact of this parental imprisonment on their sons and daughters from mid-adolescence to early adulthood.  The approach is intergenerational in linking imprisoned parents to children; inter-institutional in connecting state punishment regimes with local schools; and intersectional in differentiating outcomes along racial/ethnic and gender lines of inequality and exclusion.

Read the ABF Research Brief on Professor Hagan's research on parental incarceration here.

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