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Books

  • Anderson, Elijah, Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City, W. W. Norton & Company, August 1999, ISBN 03-930402-32
  • Anderson, Elijah, Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community, University of Chicago Press, 1990, ISBN 0226018164
  • Bernstein, N. (2005). All alone in the world: Children of the incarcerated. NY: The New Press. ISBN 1-56584-952-3
  • Bloom, Barbara and Steinhart, D. (1993). Why Punish the Children? San Francisco, CA. Council on Crime & Delinquency; ISBN: 9993022268
  • Braman, Donald, Doing Time on the Outside: Incarceration and Family Life in Urban America, U. of Michigan 2004
  • Butterfield, Fox, All God’s Children, Avon Books, ISBN 0-380-72862-1
  • Casarjian, Robin, House of Healing, A Prisoner’s Guide to Inner Power and Freedom, Transcontinental printing, 1995, ISBN 0-9644933-0-6
  • Church, W. T., & Springer, D. W. (2018). Serving the stigmatized: Working within the incarcerated environment. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Cole, David, No Equal Justice, The New Press, NY, ISBN 1565845668
  • Condry, R. (2007) Families Shamed, The consequences of crime for relatives of serious offenders, U.K. Willan Publishing ISBN 978-1-84392-207-0
  • Cyan-Brock, T.K., Prisoners of Love, Dreamcatcher Books, 2000, ISBN: 0-9707070-0-2.
  • EdenfieldAnn, Family Arrested: How to Survive the Incarceration of a Loved Owhane. ISBN: 1-58943-060-3.
  • Elsner, Alan, Gates of Injustice, The Crisis in America’s Prisons, Pearson Education, Inc. 2004 ISBN 0-13-142791-1
  • Friskies-Warren, Mary F., Considering Marriage – A Practical Workbook for Couples Separated by Incarceration, 1994, ISBN 1569910022.
  • Gadsden, Vivian L. (Editor), Wagner, Daniel A. (Editor), Literacy Among African American Youth: Issues in Learning, Teaching, and Schooling (Literacy-Research, Policy, and Practice), Hampton Press, January 1995, ISBN: 18-813032-76
  • Gaines, Patrice; Laughing in the Dark, Anchor, ISBN 0-385-48027-X
  • Garbarino, James, Raising Children in a Socially Toxic Environment, Jossey-Bass, September 1999, ISBN # 07-879504-24
  • Garbarino, James, Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them, Free Press, May 1999. ISBN 06-848590-84
  • Garbarino, James, Children in Danger: Coping with the Consequences of Community Violence (Jossey-Bass Social and Behavioral Science Series) Jossey-Bass, October 1998, ISBN 07-879465-40s
  • Gilens, Martin, Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Anti-poverty Policy, University of Chicago Pr (Trd); ISBN: 0226293645
  • Gilmore, Mikal; Shot in the Heart, Anchor Books, ISBN 0-385-47800-3
  • Girshick, Lori, No Safe Haven: Stories of Women in Prison. Northeastern University Press, c/o CUP Services, Box 6525, Ithaca, NY 14851
  • Harvey, S. A. (2020). The Shadow System: Mass Incarceration and the American Family. Bold Type Books. ISBN 1568588801
  • Hollins, Whitney Q. Ph.D. Anna’s Test 
  • Franklin and Franklin; Boys Into Men, Dutton, ISBN 0-525-944966
  • Johnston, Denise (1996). Children of Incarcerated Parents. Pacific Oaks, California. Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents, (May 1995). Lexington Books; ISBN: 0029110424
  • Jones, Lou, and Borges, Lorie Savel, Final Exposure, portraits from death row, American Friends Service Committee, 2002 ISBN 1-55553-277-2
  • Jr., L. T., & Reeves, K. L. (2015). Slugg: A Boy’s Life in the Age of Mass Incarceration. Hanover Place Press. ISBN 1521308780
  • Karr-Morse, Robin and Meredith S. Wiley, Ghosts from the Nursery, (February 1999)
  • Atlantic Monthly Pr; ISBN: 0871137348
  • Katz, Mark, On Playing a Poor Hand Well, (February 1997) W.W. Norton & Co (Sd); ISBN: 0393702324
  • King, Robert Hillary, From the Bottom of the Heap, The Autobiography of a Black Panther, PM Press, 2009 ISBN 978-1-60486-039-9
  • Lagana, T., Hansen, V., Canfield, J., Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul, Health Communications Inc. Books, 2000 ISBN 978-1-55874-836
  • Leary, J. D., Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing (Hardcover) Uptone Press 2005
  • Mauer, Mark, The Race to Incarcerate, (August 1999), New Press; ISBN: 1565844297
  • McCall, Nathan; Makes Me Wanna Hollar, Vintage, ISBN, 0-679-41268-9
  • Mincy, Ronald B. (Editor), Nurturing Young Black Males: Challenges to Agencies, Programs, and Social Policy, Urban Institute Press, February 1994 ISBN 08-776659-82
  • Morley, Patrick and R. C. Sproul, The Man in the Mirror, ISBN: 031023493X
  • O’Brien, Patricia, Making it in the “Free World” –  Women in Transition from Prison. State University of New York Press, 2001, ISBN: 0-7914-4861-4.
  • Pfeiffer, Mary Beth, Crazy in America, The Hidden Tragedy of our Criminalized Mentally Ill, Avalon Publishing, 2007 ISBN 978-0-78671-745-3
  • Raikes Ben, Baldwin Lucy (Editors)(2019) Seen and Heard Poems 
  • Raphael, Jody, Freeing Tammy: Women, Drugs, and Incarceration (The Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law) (Paperback) 2007
  • Rasheed, Mikal M. and Janice M., Social Work Practice with African American Men: The Invisible Presence, (May 1999) Corwin Pr; ISBN: 0761911162
  • Seymour, C., Creasie Finney Hairston, C.F. (Editors), Children With Parents in Prison: Child Welfare Policy, Program, and Practice Issues (March 2000)
  • Transaction Pub; ISBN: 076580719X
  • Talvi, Silja J.A., Women Behind Bars, The Crisis of Women in the U.S. Prison System, Seal Press, 2007 ISBN 978-1-58005-195-8
  • Toews, Barb, The Little Book of Restorative Justice for People in Prison, Rebuilding the Web of Relationships, Good Books, 2006 ISBN 978-1-56148-523-9
  • Thompson, Anthony C., Releasing Prisoners, Redeeming Communities: Reentry, Race, and Politics, (March 2009) New York University Press, ISBN 978-0814783214
  • Weissbourne, Richard, The Vulnerable Child, (April 1997) Perseus Pr; ISBN: 0201920808
  • Wildeman, C. J., Haskins, A. R., & Poehlmann-Tynan, J. (2018). When parents are incarcerated: Interdisciplinary research and interventions to support children. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Wildeman, C. J., Wakefield, S., & Lee, H. (2016). Tough on crime, tough on families?: Criminal justice and family life in America. Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Yaffe, Rebecca, When a Parent Goes to Jail: A Comprehensive Guide for Counseling Children of Incarcerated Parents, 2002.  Available from Rayve Productions,  ISBN 978-1-877810-08-4
  • Zehr, Howard, The Little Book of Restorative Justice, Good Books, 2002 ISBN 1-56148-376-1
  • Zehr, Howard, Transcending, Reflections of Crime Victims, Good Books, 2001, ISBN 1-56148-333-8 (paperback)
  • Zehr, Howard and Stutzman Amstutz, Lorraine.  Portraits by Howard Zehr.  What Will Happen to Me? Click here for more info.

Books for parents, caregivers and professionals to read with children of the incarcerated

  • Alexander, M. (2020). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (1st ed.). NEW PRESS. (Ages 12+)
  • Ayer, Bonnie & Bigelow, Amy. (1996). If You Have a Parent in Jail Then This Book Is For You. Flynn School.  Burlington, Vermont.

  • Baskin, N. R. (2016). Ruby on the Outside. Simon & Schuster. (Ages 11+)

       

  • Beal, J. M. (2014). Rocky’s Road: A Coloring Book for Children of Incarcerated Parents. Xlibris.

       

  • Beaty, D., & Collier, B. (2013). Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me (Illustrated ed.). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

       

  • Bell, S. D. (2013). Surviving the Chaos: Dontae’s Story: Children with Incarcerated Parents (iBelieve-uBelieve Youth Book Series) (1st ed.). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

     

  • Bender, J. M. (2003). My Daddy Is in Jail: Story, Discussion Guide, and Small Group Activities for Grades K-5. YouthLight, Inc.

        

       

   

  • Birtha, B., & Kastelic, M. (2017). Far Apart, Close in Heart: Being a Family when a Loved One is Incarcerated (Illustrated ed.). Albert Whitman & Company.
  • Black, F. M., & Moses, R. (1999). A Visit with Mommy. Inside-OUT Corporation.
  • Black, F. M., & Moses, R. (1999). A Visit with Daddy. Inside-OUT Corporation.

       

  • Brisson, P., & Caple, L. (2004). Mama Loves Me from Away. Amsterdam University Press.

  • Brooks, D. (2015). Kennedy’s Big Visit. Archway Publishing.

       

  • Burch, R., & Lazare, J. (1987). Queenie Peavy. Adfo Books.

       

  • Butterworth, O., Auishai, S., & Avishai, S. (1993). A Visit to the Big House. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

       

  • Cain, S., Speed, M., & Mukhida, Z. (1999). Dad’s in Prison. A & C Black.
  • Crane, J. & Short, B. n.d.  Two in Every Hundred: Workbook for Older (school-age) children.  Nashville, TN: Reconciliation.  Order from: Reconciliation, 702 51st Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37209, (615) 292-6371.

  • Connor, L. (2016). All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook. Katherine Tegen Books. 

  • Cullors, P., & Bandele, A. (2020). When They Call You a Terrorist (Young Adult Edition): A Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World (Illustrated ed.). Wednesday Books. (Ages 12+)

       

  • Cunningham, D. (2016). A Day I’ll Never. Forget. Books By Dr. Dana

       

  • Curcio, A. (2015). My Daddy’s In Jail. ICG Children’s.

  • Duncan, E., & Gordon, T. Y. (2022). All I Ever Wanted. . .Stories of Children of the Incarcerated. Herstory Writers Workshop. (Ages 11+)

  • Dyches, R. W. (2011). Two of every 100: A special workbook for children with a parent in prison. Children Left Behind, Inc.

       

  • Dyches, R. W., & Garcia, E. (2011). Doogie’s dad. Berryville, AR: Children Left Behind

  • Dyches, R. W. (2011). Kofi’s mom. Berryville, AR: Children Left Behind

  • Dyches, R., & Paul, K. (2010). Where’s Dad? Children Left Behind. 

  • Ellis, D. (2007). Jakeman (1st ed.). Fitzhenry and Whiteside.

  • Ellis, S. (2016). Almost Like Visiting. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

  • Fitzmaurice, K. (2009). The Year the Swallows Came Early. HarperCollins. (Ages 11+)

  • Friedman, A., & Danziger, D. (2021). Dream Catchers: POPS the Club Anthology. Out of The Woods Press. (Ages 13+)

  • Futrell, Q. (2015). Our Mom’s (Living With Incarcerated Parents). Quniana Futrell, LLC.

  • Gallagher, E. R., & Jr., R. P. B. (2016). Sing, Sing, Midnight! CreateSpace Independents Publishing Platform
  • Gesme, C. (1993). Help for Kids: Understanding Your Feelings About Having a Parent in Prison or Jail. Pine Tree Pr.

  • Going, K. L. (2016). Pieces of Why. Penguin Young Readers Group. ISBN  0147509866

  • Harriman, J. L., & Flye, K. A. (2011). Waiting for Daddy. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

  • Hickman, M. W., & Livingston, F. (1983). When Can Daddy Come Home? Abingdon Press.

  • Hickman, M. W., & Raymond, L. (1990). When Andy’s Father Went to Prison. A. Whitman. (K-5)

  • Higgins, M., & Kirwan, W. (2013). The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail (Life’s Challenges) (Illustrated ed.). Picture Window Books.

  • Hodgkins, K., & Bergen, S. (1997). My Mom Went to Jail. Rainbow Project.

       

  • Hollins, W., & Kitty, K. (2019). Anna’s Test. Independently published. ISBN 1072977753

  • Kaba, M. & royal, bria. (2019). Missing Daddy. Haymarket Books.
  • Kerniski, Ann. n.d. Keeping in Touch by Long Distance.  Syracuse, NY: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County.

  • Littlewood, K., & Weir, L. (2013). When Dad Was Away. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

  • Maury, Inez. (2002).  My Mother and I Are Growing Stronger. Berkeley, CA: New Seed, Press. 

  • Maldonado, Torrey. Secret Saturdays.(2010).New York: Putnam.

  • Marks, J. (2021). From the Desk of Zoe Washington. Katherine Tegen Books.

  • Muhammad, B., Dr., & Muhammad, M. (2014). The Prison Alphabet (Project Iron Kids). Goldest Karat Publishing

  • Myers, R. (2013)  Someone I Know Lives in Prison.

  • Nelson, J.(2006) Families Change: A Book for Children Experiencing Termination of Parental Rights (Kids Are Important) Free Spirit Publishing.

  • Paterson, K. (2002) The Same Stuff as Stars. Clarion Books. (10-14-year-olds)

  • Paratore, C. (2009) Sunny Holiday. Scholastic Press.

  • Penn, A. (1993) The Kissing Hand. Child Welfare League of America. Atlanta, Georgia.
  • St. Pierre, Stephanie.(1994). Everything You Need to Know When a Parent is in Jail. New York: Rosen Publishing Group.

  • Stanglin, J. & McGuckie, J. (2007).  Mami, Que es una Carcel? Centennial, CO: Lifevest Publishing, Inc

  • Stanglin, J and McGuckie, J.(2006).  What is Jail, Mommy? Centennial, CO: Lifevest Publishing, Inc.  (Ages to 8)

  • Strempek, M., & Corke, K. (2015). Everyone Makes Mistakes: Living With My Daddy In Jail. Life Changers 180, LLC.

       

  • Sullivan, M., & Jay, D. (2017). Clarissa’s Disappointment: And Resources for Families, Teachers and Counselors of Children of Incarcerated Parents. Shining Hall. ISBN 0986159751 (Ages 11+) 

       

  • Testa, Maria & Amanda Schaffer (Illustrator).(1996). Nine Candles. Minneapolis, MN: Carol Rhoda Books.
  • Thompson, B. (1995). The Magic Quilt. Sundance Publishing (out of print)
  • Vogel, Carol Lynne & Mulhollen, Amy. (1996).  My Mommy’s in Prison.  Pennsylvania: Southwest-South Central Pennsylvania AmeriCorps Program, The Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps.

 

  • Walker, J. (2015). Romar Jones Takes a Hike. Amsterdam University Press.

       

  • Walker, Jan & Leonhard, Herb (Illustrator). (2006).  An Inmate’s Daughter.  Norris, MT: Raven Publishing of Montana.  (Grades 5 – 8)

  • Watson, J. W. (2015). Welcome Home: Mommy Gets Out Today. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

       

  • Whitbold, M. (2003).  Let’s Talk About When Your Parent is in Jail. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

  • Williams, Vera B. (2001). Amber was Brave, Essie was Smart. New York: Greenwillow.

  • Woodson, J. (2002).  Our Gracie Aunt. New York: Hyperion.

  • Woodson, J. (2020). Harbor Me (Reprint ed.). Puffin Books.

  • Woodson, J. & Ransome, J. (Illustrator). (2002).  Visiting Day. New York: Scholastic Press. (Ages 4 – 8)

  • Young, A. (2018). Teen Guide to Living With Incarcerated Parents: A Self-Help Book for Coping During an Age of Mass Incarceration. BookBaby. (Ages 13+)

  • Zehr, H. (2010). What Will Happen to Me: Every Night, Approximately Three Million Children Go To Bed With A Parent In Pri (Illustrated ed.). Good Books. (Older Kids)

Films

  • A Hard Straight, Goro Toshima, 2004,  Award-winning documentary film tells the story of what it’s really like for a person to make the radical transition from prison life to society.
  • A Sentence of Their Own. The film chronicles one family’s annual pilgrimage to a New Hampshire State Prison and reveals the damaging impact incarceration has on families. https://www.asentenceoftheirown.com/Home.html
  • Beyond the Walls, The Road to Redemption, Rachel Libert, 2006 -Film portraying the true stories of families affected by violence. TOVA, https://www.worldcat.org/title/beyond-the-walls-the-road-to-redemption/oclc/301592077
  • Champagne and the Talking Eggs, Michael Sporn, Director, VHS, 1997. Cartoon format appropriate for children and adults.
  • Charisse Shumate: Fighting for Our Lives, story of a woman who stood up against the CA Dept. of Corrections and fought against the substandard health care in women’s prisons., The Freedom Archives, 2004
  • Children of Prisoners: Children of Promise, U.S. Dept. of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2003, Peter Argentine, A candid conversation with fathers in jail and after release. The film presents the importance of family and the pain of separation.
  • Echoes of Incarceration is a youth-produced documentary project focusing on the impact of the prison system on children. For more info and purchasing information, visit our “From Our Partners” page.
  • Family Ties is a candid conversation with fathers in jail and after release.  The film presents the importance of family and the pain of separation –  told through the words of 7 men, their families, and the Warden of the Allegheny County (PA) Jail. Produced by award-winning filmmaker Peter Argentine and sponsored by Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation.  For more info and purchasing information, visit our “From Our Partners” page.
  • Prison Lullabies, Odile Isralson, and Lina Matta, 2003. A film about women who gave birth in prison.
  • Run For His Life – At first glance, Repeter ‘Pete’ Monsanto lives a glamorous life – a celebrity photographer who works with boldface names like Meek Mill, Rick Ross, Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Big Sean and others. But look deeper and you will see a man with father-sized hole in his life. When he was just six years old, Pete’s father, Peter Monsanto, was arrested and convicted of racketeering and sentenced to life without parole. Trying to be a positive force in his son’s life in spite of his criminal past and its consequences.  Pete is now the same age his father was when he was sent away.
  • Shadows, Rachel Libert, 2008 is a film by Tova: Artistic Project for Social Change.  It is a powerful training film, bringing the voices and realities of children with incarcerated parents, their caregivers, and their incarcerated parents out of the shadows of anger and pain and into the light of healing and forgiveness. A must-see for anyone working with incarcerated fathers, their children and their caregivers. Available for purchase from NRCCFI here.
  • The sentencing – Cindy Shank, mother of three, is serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison for her tangential involvement with a Michigan drug ring years earlier. This intimate portrait of mandatory minimum drug sentencing’s devastating consequences, captured by Cindy’s brother, follows her and her family over the course of ten years. Courtesy of HBO Documentary Films.
  • Tre Maison Dasan -Tre Maison Dasan is an inspiring film of three boys growing up with incarcerated parents. Directly told through the children’s perspective, the film is an exploration of the relationships and separations masculinity and coming of age in America when a parent is behind bars.
  • Troop 1500, Ellen Spiro, 2006, Their mothers have been convicted of various crimes, but the Girl Scouts of Troop 1500 want to be doctors, social workers, and marine biologists. Troop 1500 is their story and that of their mothers-trying to hold together their families from behind the walls.
  • Up The Ridge, Szuberla, N. and Kirby, A, a documentary following the building of a supermax prison in VA and the impact on the community, the people incarcerated there and their families, Appalshop, 2006
  • When the Bough Breaks, Jill Evans-Petzall, a documentary about three Missouri families whose children are bounced between social workers, foster parents, grandparents and visits with their moms in prison.