The studies listed in this section provide information about the characteristics and needs of children based on original analysis of data and other factors such as children’s risk exposure, children’s outcomes, or foster care placement.


The studies listed in this section examine the relationship between parent involvement and families in the criminal justice system.


The studies listed in this section examine various aspects of maternal incarceration related to children and families.


The studies listed in this section examine various aspects of paternal incarceration related to children and families. 

Program and Policy Description and Evaluation

The studies listed in this section are forms of research that assesses short- or long-term changes among individuals participating in programs or receiving interventions.

Research Reports and Reviews

These publications provide (a) critiques and commentaries on the methods used in studying children whose parents are in prison, or (b) systematically examine published research in an effort to assess the quality and strength of evidence pertaining to a particular research issue.

Seminal Works 

Seminal Studies:The following studies are research that is older than 1999 that has significantly informed more recent work.

  • Bloom, B., & Steinhart, D. (1993). Why punish the children? A reappraisal of the children of incarcerated mothers in America. San Francisco: National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
  • Barnhill, S. (1996). Three generations at risk: Imprisoned women, their children, and grandmother caregivers.Generations, 20, 39-41.
  • Hairston, C. F. (1989). Men in prison: Family characteristics and family views. Journal of Offender Counseling, Rehabilitation, & Services, 14, 23-30.
  • Hairston, C. F. (1998). The forgotten parent: Understanding the forces that influence incarcerated fathers’ relationships with their children. Child Welfare, 77(5), 617-639.
  • Holt, N., & Miller, D. (1972). Explorations in inmate-family relationships (No. 46). Sacramento: California Department of Corrections.
  • Lanier, C. S. (1991). Dimensions of father-child interaction in a New York state prison population. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation,16, 27-42.
  • Sack, W. H., Seidler, J., & Thomas, S. (1996). The children of imprisoned parents: A psychosocial exploration. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 46, 618-628.
  • Schneller, D. P. (1975). Prisoners’ families a study of some social and psychological effects of incarceration on the families of negro prisoners. Criminology12(4), 402-412.

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