Session: WITHDRAWN Contact in Prison and Reentry Services for Justice-Involved Families: Considerations for Incarcerated Parents and Children (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

5 WITHDRAWN Contact in Prison and Reentry Services for Justice-Involved Families: Considerations for Incarcerated Parents and Children

Thursday, January 13, 2022: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Independence BR B, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Cluster: Crime and Criminal Justice
Symposium Organizer:
Pajarita Charles, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Qianwei Zhao, PhD, Baylor University
Increased attention has turned to the collateral effects of imprisonment for families and communities given the more than 6.5 million people under criminal justice system oversight daily. This surge has contributed to an estimated 1 in 14 children ever experiencing the incarceration of a parent. Parental incarceration has been found to have detrimental consequences for the family both during and after incarceration. As such, scholars are working to identify mechanisms that may improve outcomes of justice-involved parents and their children. Two areas gaining attention are in-prison contact and reentry support as possible avenues that may bolster well-being and stabilize relationships during and after incarceration. This symposium contributes to the understanding of incarcerated parents' relationships with their children and issues pertinent to their reentry after imprisonment, pointing to practice and policy levers that can improve individual and family outcomes across the continuum of justice-involvement.

The first paper includes a sample of recently released adults to understand how demographics, pre-incarceration relationships, systems-involvement, childhood adversity, mental health, and substance use contribute to heterogeneity in contact with children during prison. The second paper extends these findings with a different sample of currently and formerly incarcerated parents to understand how in-prison contact may be associated with post-release residence and non-residential contact with children, as well as relationships with caregivers. The third paper examines experiences of parents once back in the community, focusing on the role of paternal recidivism for child-wellbeing. The fourth paper closes with a call to support corrections-involved parents and children post-release by discussing the need for reentry services, particularly for those with histories of problematic opioid use.

The first paper finds that adversity and systems-involvement during the parents' childhood are detrimental pre-cursors to in-prison parent-child contact but that mothers, younger parents, and those with pre-incarceration contact see increased communication during prison. Paper two finds that frequency of in-prison visits predicts post-release parent-child residence and non-residential contact, while visits and calls are associated with better post-release relationships between parents and caregivers. The third paper finds that post-release co-residence moderates associations between paternal reentry and child well-being, such that parents who do not recidivate and remain in the community longer see reduced behavior problems for children, while increased recidivism may elevate them. The final paper identifies the need for intervention programs that support parents post-release, including family-focused services that attend to barriers in connecting with children and meeting their needs.

Collectively, these papers advance the social work knowledge base by examining the role of in-prison contact and reentry experiences in mitigating risk for previously incarcerated parents and their children. Pointedly, despite heterogeneity in precursors to parent-child contact while incarcerated, some factors are found to improve post-release outcomes and, when coupled with reentry services, may stabilize parents during reentry thereby reducing risk of recidivism and improving children's outcomes. A call for interventions that attend to the whole family system is increasingly evident and aligned with the values and approach of social work practice and research efforts.

* noted as presenting author
Predictors of Parent-Child Contact during a Parent's Incarceration
Miriam Clark, University of Oregon; Jean Kjellstrand, PhD, University of Oregon; Chris Loan, University of Oregon
Child Contact during Parental Incarceration: Building Connections to Promote Family Wellbeing in an Era of Decarceration
Pajarita Charles, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Luke Muentner, MSW, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Aaron Gottlieb, University of Illinois at Chicago; John Eddy, University of Texas at Austin
Service Needs for Corrections-Involved Parents with a History of Problematic Opioid Use: A Community Needs Assessment
Miriam Clark, University of Oregon; Jean Kjellstrand, PhD, University of Oregon; Kaycee Morgan, University of Oregon
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