939 SP Family Law: Incarceration & the Family - §004, Spring 2010

Categories: Family Law

Instructor(s) Shear, Leslie

(2 credits)
This course presents an interdisciplinary approach to families and incarceration, emphasizing
family law and behavioral science perspectives.  When an individual is incarcerated, the
family members they leave behind are affected in multiple ways.  In the
United States, 1.7 million children have a parent in prison or jail, an increase of 80% since
1991. Children of incarcerated parents are at risk for negative outcomes, including
attachment insecurity, behavior problems, cognitive delays, substance abuse, and criminal
activity. Incarcerated parents themselves often face insurmountable barriers to maintaining
meaningful relationships with their
children and other family members.  Key issues include contact between the child and the
incarcerated parent, social stigma, race/ethnicity, and interfacing with other systems such as
family court, child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

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