The CTCIP Initiative has supported several programs for children with incarcerated parents since the IMRP first began receiving funding in fiscal year 2008. Faculty from Connecticut’s public universities, as well as other colleges and universities, has evaluated almost all of these projects, and some have issued public reports. On this page we share those program evaluation reports issued by faculty as well as other research publications issued by the CTCIP Initiative.
This information was collected on September 12-13, 2022
Information collected by state department of corrections’ websites. Municipal jails not included.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a heartbreaking number of families and friends did not get the opportunity to see or hug their incarcerated loved ones for nearly two years. Consequently, this has caused further isolation for individuals incarcerated as the mental toll of lack of visits, access to phone calls, and the delay of processing mail prolongs incarcerated individuals’ separation from friends and loved ones.
Research has shown that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the mental and physical well-being of individuals incarcerated and their families. Such research has highlighted the psychological and developmental harm to children due to restricted access to their parents. Visiting restrictions can cause children to fear and worry about the safety and future of their parent/s. Numerous studies have shown that people who receive regular visits from their families are less likely to return to prison after release, focus on planning for their futures ahead after release, and are more likely to stay out of trouble. Concurrently, children benefit greatly from maintaining a relationship with their parent/s. Regular visits generally have a positive impact on children’s well-being, develop a higher sense of security for the child, and eases parental transition during re-entry. Family engagement provides a sense of hope to individuals incarcerated. It is critical to provide space and support to restore family connections for the well-being of incarcerated individuals, their families, and society. Helping families stay connected should and must be a priority.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect policies on visits and guidelines that friends, and family must follow to visit a loved one incarcerated. The ongoing pandemic has caused correctional facilities to adjust and periodically update visiting guidelines. Unfortunately, this is not the case across the country. Facilities in some states have restricted visiting access, making it difficult for individuals incarcerated to maintain valuable interaction with friends and loved ones. Many children have not been able to visit their parents.
Our ‘Prison COVID-19 Related Visiting Policies in the U.S’ chart provides a synopsis of websites, guidelines, and visiting information from each state’s Department of Corrections (DOC). Please be advised that such information may be subject to change. It is recommended to check the state’s DOC website to stay up to date with potential changes to visiting guidelines and/or restrictions at the correctional facility you are planning to visit.
Needs Created in Children’s Daily Lives by the Arrest of a Caregiver (PDF)
There is ample evidence that caregiver incarceration is associated with negative child outcomes including mental and physical health problems, antisocial behavior and youth incarceration. The authors of this report, Dr. James Conway, Dr. Ashley Provencher and Aileen Keays, argue that these outcomes may be due to loss of supports from an arrested caregiver, and surveyed a sample of arrested caregivers to examine supports children may lose.
Seven out of Ten? Not Even Close (PDF)
CCSU professor and long-time CIP Initiative Principle Investigator, Dr. James Conway, and Edward Jones investigated the widely used but unsubstantiated claims that children with incarcerated parents are six times more likely than other children to become justice-involved and that 7 out of 10 CIP overall will become justice-involved. The findings of their analysis, indicating much lower levels of justice involvement, are detailed in this 2015 report. View this report in Spanish.
Children with Incarcerated Parents: A Quantitative Evaluation of Mentoring and Home-Based Counseling and Case Management (PDF)
The Connecticut General Assembly has provided funding to address needs of children with incarcerated parents. The funding is administered and effectiveness of services evaluated by Central Connecticut State University’s Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP). The IMRP, using a competitive RFP process, funded services beginning in 2008 by two organizations: one providing one-on-one community-based mentoring, the other strengths-based in-home counseling and case management. This report describes a quantitative evaluation of CIP well being while receiving services for up to 13 months.
Issues Affecting the Efficacy of Programs for Children with Incarcerated Parents (PDF)
This 2011 article, published in The Journal of Correctional Education, discusses the observations of children, parents/caregivers, mentors, and agency staff involved with two agencies that provided programming for children with incarcerated parents in Connecticut. Big Brothers Big Sisters provided Hartford and Bridgeport area youth with mentoring services while Families in Crisis offered in-home strengths-based counseling and case management for Hartford-area families.
For other organizations’ publications, please visit the below websites:
- For general CIP-related information, please visit the National Resource Center for Children and Families of the Incarcerated
- For general information including resources for school administrators and teachers, as well as law enforcement and corrections, child welfare and clinicians, and parents and caregivers, please visit the Youth.gov
- For law enforcement-related resources, visit the International Association of Chiefs of Police website and type “incarcerated parent” into the search field
- For CIP-related information for corrections, please visit National Institute of Corrections
- For Child Welfare – Supporting Children and Families of Prisoners and Child Welfare – Reunification and Visits With Parents Who Are Incarcerated
- Spotlight/featured research
- Yale Law School’s Family Law Handbook: A Resource for People in Connecticut’s Prisons
- Child Trends report Parents Behind Bars: What Happens to their Children?