8 Percent of Ga. Children have had a Parent Incarcerated

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A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says 189,000 Georgia kids, or about 8 percent of the state’s child population, have had a parent in jail or prison at some point in their childhood.
David Goldman, File / AP Photo

Nearly 200,000 Georgia children have been separated from a parent due to incarceration, according to a new report released this week.

The report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says 189,000 kids, or about 8 percent of the state’s child population, have had a parent in jail or prison at some point in their childhood. The state’s average is slightly higher than the national average of 7 percent.

The report says those high incarceration rates are pushing more poor families and communities deeper into poverty.

“Parental incarceration often affects children who are most vulnerable,” said Georgia Kids Count coordinator Rebecca Rice. “It’s young children, children of color, often children in struggling communities, so it’s a massively traumatic thing that happens to these kids.”

Rice says the data was particularly stark in Atlanta; it showed that all but two of the city’s predominantly black communities have higher rates of residents returning from prison.

“Research shows that parental incarceration can be just as traumatic to a child as divorce, abuse and domestic violence, so it’s a big deal,” Rice said.

Rice said the data used was from 2011 and 2012 – the most recent available.

She said since then, Georgia has passed many of the criminal justice reforms the report goes on to recommend, including ban-the-box rules for hiring applications and allowing felony drug offenders to apply for food stamps.

Read the story on news.wabe.org.

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Bill Valladares
GaFCP Communications Director
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