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PSU McNair Scholars Online Journal

Article Title

The Invisible Victims: Children of Incarcerated Mothers

Abstract

During the last several years the number of incarcerated mothers has steadily increased. Subsequently the number of children involved is also increasing. While substantial research has been done on the topic of children with incarcerated mothers, the voices of the children on the matter are often invisible from research. When a child’s mother is incarcerated they are often placed into a relatives home, or into foster care. Children become vulnerable and many times do not know how to deal with these issues, and do not know how to express how they feel. Many times children are left to make sense of the situation on their own. The negative influences on children in regards to maternal incarceration are endless. The stories of how children of incarcerated mothers are affected by the matter need to be heard. Doing so may provide insight into how children deal with the issue of maternal incarceration, and what helps them, if anything, to overcome their struggles and address their feelings towards their incarcerated mother. Familiarizing ourselves of the struggles of children with incarcerated mothers may help in the development of more support programs that will ultimately make life for these children a bit easier to deal with.

Faculty Mentors: Patti Duncan and Carol Morgaine