In the last part of the blog I will be discussing the phase of the incarcerated parent coming out of prison and re-entering prison which is another difficult process both the parent, caregiver and child has to go through .
The effects of parental incarceration on children continue when the parent is discharged from prison. Many parents who are discharged plan to reunite with their child, but may not anticipate the difficulties associated with doing so. Former inmates face challenges, both internal and external, to build a fruitful lives for themselves, including finding jobs, housing and avoiding further involvement with the criminal justice system. Moreover many have to deal with paying off debts that have accumulated during imprisonment, including child support arrearages; criminal fines, court and legal fees.
Re-entry can be even more daunting for women with children than for men. Compared to male former inmates, women are more likely to be dealing with the psychological effects of past traumas and are more likely to have used drugs, alcohol or both at the time of imprisonment. At the same time, reunification with children is likely to be a more important part of re-entry for women than it is for men. Re-entering prison is also challenging and stressful for children. Children as they grow and change often form relationships with new parental figures during a parent’s incarceration. These parental figures and perhaps other family members are often unwilling to allow a child to re-establish a relationship with a parent upon release. Such family conflicts can destabilize already fragile families and leave children confused.
Therisa Gambin is a psychology graduate who worked in the HR sector for the past 4 years. She decided to change her career path and thus is at present an intern at Willingness and will continue to focus on psychology practices.