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Resolution on the Impact of Maternal Incarceration on Families and Children

April 30, 2020


About 69% of women in jail or prison are mothers of minor children, and many are single mothers. By the age of nine, about 10% of U.S. children will have experienced maternal incarceration. Research shows that children with mothers who are incarcerated are five times more likely to end up in foster care than those with fathers who are incarcerated (60% versus 15%, respectively).

A disproportionate number of incarcerated women are women of color, from extreme poverty, suffering from mental illness, dependent on alcohol or drugs, and victims or survivors of abuse – circumstances that also often affect their families and may reflect the communities where they live.

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