Prisoners Once Removed: The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on Children, Families and Communities.

Author:Henderson-Hurley, Martha
Position:Book Review
 
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Prisoners Once Removed: The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on Children, Families and Communities, edited by Jeremy Travis and Michelle Waul, Urban Institute Press, 2003, 396 pp.

In recent years, a great deal of attention has been given to the importance of inmate reentry, highlighted most noticeably in the book When Prisoners Come Home: Parole and Prisoner Reentry by Joan Petersilia. Petersilia finished her book by noting the lack of attention being given to the impact of incarceration on children, families and communities. Editors Jeremy Travis and Michelle Waul address this gap in knowledge. They have compiled Prisoners Once Removed: The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on Children, Families and Communities, which contains articles that analyze the repercussions of current incarceration policies on children, families and communities.

The text is divided into three sections. In Section 1, "The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on Individual Prisoners," the authors provide basic information on the challenges facing males and females who return to the community after a period of incarceration. The articles selected for this section all reflect current knowledge regarding the impact of the prison environment on the psychological well-being of the inmate, familial relationships and the reentry success of individual inmates. Each article concludes with suggestions for mitigating the negative impact of the prison environment through changes in release practices and social policy.

The second section examines the research addressing how incarceration impacts family structure and the social development of young children and adolescents. The research presented is relevant for academics as well as practitioners in social service agencies who ultimately must deal with the familial consequences of parental incarceration. The articles clarify the psychological, environmental and social consequences of parental incarceration for the children and families left behind in the community. The first article in this section details the generational consequences of mass imprisonment on the lives of poor, inner-city residents and minorities. The next two articles cover the developmental and behavioral problems experienced by the children of incarcerated...

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