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Breaking the Generation Cycle

  • Date Submitted: 03/06/2011 07:47 PM
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Running head:   Incarcerated women with children

Breaking the Generation Cycle
Lisa Patton
HIS303
John Stender
January 17, 2011

Heath C. Hoffman pronounces that “The United States incarcerates 700% more women than it did twenty years ago. Nearly three-quarters (70%) of incarcerated women are mothers of dependent children, and over 1.3 million children have mothers in the corrections system including jail, prison, and parole.” Yet despite this new trend, little research examines the family impact of incarceration. What happens to children while their mothers are in jail or prison? How does incarceration affect the relationships between mothers, children, and caregivers?   Women imprisoned today have many programs and services available to them to stop the “generational cycle” for their children such as allowing children to spend their early developmental stages in prison with their mother, special counseling and programming for incarcerated mothers and their children.   These programs and maintaining a relationship between child and mother is imperative to aid in terminating the generational cycle that plays such a negative role in America’s society.   Statistics and research vividly describes the adverse conditions children with incarcerated mothers face.   The mother, the parent committed the crime that led her to be sent to prison but unfortunately innocent children are being punished as well.  
In order to understand the seriousness of children being victims of mothers who are incarcerated we first must realize the dangers and uphill climb that many of these children face.   Hoffman in the Prison Journal, states, “mothers are more likely than incarcerated fathers to live with their children prior to being incarcerated.”   The number of children affected by incarcerated mothers is evident however the problems that can stem from this are hard to grasp.   Hoffman states some of the consequences for children with incarcerated mothers “children with an...

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