Understanding Families Impacted by Incarceration: Use of a Unique Data Source (Research Note)

Document Type



Incarceration in the United States impacts millions of prisoners and families. While research demonstrates an impact of incarceration on children of inmates, practice and policy implications drawn from this research are limited. Prisons do not routinely track children and families of inmates, making it difficult to identify those impacted. Also, research usually does not separate the impact of incarceration from predisposing risks and other confounds. To address these barriers, we introduce the Impact of Incarceration (IOI) project, utilizing integrated administrative data that spans justice and service systems in a single state for prisoners (N = 18,790) and their visiting family members (N = 40,488). We describe our methodology, preliminary data, and implications for improving wellbeing of prisoners and their families.

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APA Citation

Shapiro, C. J., & DeHart, D. (2017). Understanding families impacted by incarceration: Use of a unique data source (research note). Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 98(2), 97–101.