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Talking about Parental Incarceration at the White House: Creating a National Dialogue Between Researchers, Practitioners and Policy Makers

Summer 2013

Researching Law, Vol. 24, No. 3

Well over two million persons are currently incarcerated in this country, and the contemporary rate of imprisonment is about four times higher than in the 1970s—much of it attributable to changes in sentencing statutes and guidelines that were revised in the 1980s. What is less generally realized is that most incarcerated persons are parents. About three million children in the United States have an incarcerated parent, or one who has been released recently, and the effects of this enforced separation from parents are not well understood. In this edition of Researching Law, we summarize the work that ABF Research Professor John Hagan presented at the White House as part of a conference on the multi-level effects of parental incarceration in the U.S.