Parental Incarceration, Maine Children, Justice Policy
Parental incarceration is a known Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) which affects a large number of children nationwide. Research shows that children who experience parental incarceration are more at risk for trauma, mental health problems, and juvenile justice system involvement. The goal of this report was to further our understanding of the scale of parental incarceration and the impact on the children in Maine. This report provides a snapshot of the number of children who were impacted by parental incarceration in the state system over a 5-year period (2015-2020). The findings show that for the majority of these parents, there is no legal factor prohibiting contact with their children. Therefore, continuing to nurture the parent-child relationship while the parent is incarcerated is possible and important to minimize the trauma and associated risks. While more research is needed to better understand the nuances of parental incarceration in Maine, this research supports the implementation of policies and programs to help put Maine families and children first. By ensuring Maine families have access to appropriate services and a community-based network of support we can stop the cycle of intergenerational incarceration and improve outcomes for Maine’s children.
Foley, Jillian MPPM; King, Erica MSW; and Benner, Casey, "Breaking the Cycle: Interrupting Generational Incarceration in Maine" (2020). Justice Policy. 35.