By Taylor Walker, Witness LA, September 13, 2019
An estimated 10 million US children have parents who are currently locked up, or who have previously been incarcerated. A bill currently on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk, SB 394, seeks to reduce the number of parents and children separated by incarceration by boosting diversion.
Children arguably suffer the worst consequences of mass incarceration.
In 2014, a UC Irvine study found that having a parent behind bars can be more damaging to a kid’s well-being than divorce or even the death of a parent. Students with incarcerated mothers and fathers are more likely to receive suspensions in school, and are more likely to drop out than their peers. Kids with incarcerated parents also have a higher likelihood of coming into contact with the justice system, themselves.