A CHILD OF AN INCARCERATED PARENT
- Every year over 150 000 adults are remanded into custody which results in approximately 180 000 innocent children who suffer from the traumatic affect of parental incarceration in Canada.
- Over 5000 children are impacted by parental imprisonment in the Greater Toronto Area.
- The number of children affected by parental incarceration will only increase with the passing of the Crime Bill C-10 and the construction of a new detention centre in South Etobicoke which will hold 1600 men.
- Despite the growing prevalence of these innocent victims the resources available are minimal.
- The cost and lack of accessibility to correctional facilities restrict child-parent visits. Consequently, some children never visit their incarcerated parents.
- This highlights the need for FEAT and our supportive programming.
- Children of incarcerated parents grieve the loss of their parent.
- These children are four times more likely to be in conflict with the law.
- Social stigma of incarceration causes some families to avoid discussing the absence of a parent.
Research suggests that parental incarceration has a detrimental impact on children. These innocent children suffer the traumatic experience of being separated from their parent. Following parental imprisonment, children are faced with a myriad of challenges including:
- Feelings of shame, grief, guilt, abandonment, and anger
- Lowered self-esteem
- Economic instability
- Social stigma and isolation
- Disconnection from parent
- Insecurity in familial and peer relationships
- School absenteeism and poor school performance
- Difficulty in coping with future stress and trauma
- Compromised trust in others including law enforcement