With the highest incarceration rate in the world, the United States has approximately 3 million children with at least one parent doing time. A sudden parental departure commonly leads to separation anxiety, anger, sadness, and feelings of loneliness and abandonment amongst young children.
Children and families with a loved one in prison are also "doing time" for their loved one's mistake. There is a stigma that is commonly associated with families with a loved one in prison. Because of this, children are more at risk for emotional, social, and classroom problems. Depending on their age, they are also more susceptible to engaging in substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, and gang activity.
By opening a dialogue not only between children and adults but also children with other children, these problems can be alleviated through understanding and support. Prison Fellowship hopes to follow our mission of restoring not only the child but also the entire family by providing a list of books for children with an incarcerated parent. For more resources of support for families of the incarcerated, please visit and learn more about Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree program.
CHILDREN'S BOOKS THAT DEAL WITH INCARCERATION
CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
- Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration (Sesame Street toolkit) The incarceration of a loved one can be very overwhelming for both children and caregivers. It can bring about big changes and transitions. In simple everyday ways, you can comfort your child and guide her through these tough moments. With your love and support she can get through anything that comes her way. Here are some tools to help you with the changes your child is going through.
- Sesame Street in Communities: Incareration (YouTube) Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, a bilingual (English/Spanish) multimedia initiative, provides much-needed resources to support and comfort young children throughout their parents' incarceration.
- Sesame Street: Incarceration App for Android The Sesame Street: Incarceration app provides parents and caregivers with tools to help children ages 3-8 cope with the many transitions related to a parent’s incarceration.
- Sesame Street: Incarceration App for iPhone/iPad The Sesame Street: Incarceration app provides parents and caregivers with tools to help children ages 3-8 cope with the many transitions related to a parent’s incarceration.