Pa. study, hearing look at homelife of inmates’ children

What happens to the children of those who are incarcerated?  

The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing in Philadelphia Friday on the effects of parental incarceration on children.  

Philadelphia City Councilwoman Marian Tasco says the statistics are alarming.

“Nationally, at least 1.7 million children have an incarcerated parent and on any given day in Pennsylvania at least 100,000 children have an incarcerated parent,” she said.

Ann Schwartzman of the Pennsylvania Prison Society says research shows some children can survive losing a parent to prison, but others don’t fare as well.

“Some children move from relative to relative. They have no stable place to live, they change schools, they lose family members and they lose friends,” she said. “They may experience depression, separation anxiety, nightmares, disruptive behavior.  Oftentimes, they are troublemakers in school and they hide and are loners.”

A report presented to the committee calls for more funding to reach out to kids as soon as their parents are put behind bars.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.