Study on Mentoring Children of the Incarcerated

With the support of a Distinguished Fellowship from the William T. Grant Foundation, Dr. David DuBois is currently working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to analyze data that they are collecting on the strength and longevity of mentoring relationships involving youth who have an incarcerated parent. Dr. DuBois presented his initial findings in  June at the organization’s national conference. The organization plans to also evaluate outcomes associated with mentoring for youth with incarcerated parents in the areas of academics, relationships with parents and peers, and attitudes toward risk behavior. These analyses will make use of data that are collected with a newly developed outcomes survey that is being completed by all youth served by the organization.

The NRCCFI web site will post updates to Dr. DuBois’ on-going research
He can be contacted directly at –
David DuBois, Ph.D.
Institute for Health Research and Policy (M/C 275)
University of Illinois at Chicago
1747 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Chicago IL 60608
(312) 413-9806
Fax: (312) 996-2703

Youth Participatory Action Research with Children of Incarcerated Parents

The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is pleased to announce the selection of two groups of researchers to receive awards to advance youth participatory action research (YPAR) on issues affecting children and youth who have or have had an incarcerated parent (COIP) in order to improve practices and support policymakers and practitioners in this field. The proposed research will engage youth with this experience as full partners in doing the research and disseminating the results.
Selected projects are:
Dr. Elizabeth Benninger and her team from Case Western University: “Raising Voices: Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) to explore experiences and strategies for improving the wellbeing of youth with incarcerated parents”
Dr. Michelle Abraczinskas and her team from the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding: “Nothing about us without us: Amplifying the perspectives of youth with experiences of parental incarceration through youth participatory action research”
Research will begin immediately with findings expected in Summer 2022.

More Ongoing Research

Project Title: Maternal and Child Outcomes of a Prison Nursery Program
Grantee: Columbia University
Abstract: The broad objectives of this project are to identify and explore the changes in maternal-infant attachment and infant/toddler development as they occur during incarceration on a prison nursery and during the year following release of the infant with and without the mother. The overall goal is to enrich the knowledge base from which prison and community based parenting programs can be developed and tested and to improve the lives of incarcerated women and their children during co detention and following release.

Project Title: Minimizing the Collateral Damage: Interventions to Diminish the Consequences of Mass Incarceration for Children conference
Grantee: Bronfenbrenner Center
Abstract: The fifth biennial conference in honor of the legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner ? “Minimizing the Collateral Damage: Interventions to Diminish the Consequences of Mass Incarceration for Children” ? convened a panel of leading researchers in an effort to cultivate interdisciplinary perspectives and consider the micro-, meso-, and macro-level interventions that best minimize the consequences of parental incarceration for children, families, and communities. Presentations emphasized the strongest interdisciplinary research on the consequences of paternal and maternal incarceration for children (with special attention to mediators and moderators) as well as discussing policies and individual-level interventions that could help lessen the likelihood of parental incarceration or help children whose parents have experienced incarceration. The conference’s overarching goal is to strengthen the connections between research, policy, and practice in the area of collateral consequences of mass incarceration for children. 

Click here for Youtube Clips from the Conference