4 Specific Forms of Trauma that Children of Incarcerated Parents are Vulnerable To

children family mental health May 21, 2022
4 Specific Forms of Trauma that Children of Incarcerated Parents are Vulnerable To

When grown adults are arrested, public attention is usually anchored to their criminal misconduct. Unfortunately, law-enforcement procedures can sometimes inflict suffering on innocent bystanders. Especially bystanders who happen to be children of accused criminals. When a child has to make it through life with an incarcerated parent, the adversities they face are both unique, and substantial.


Arrests Have Ripple Effects on Families:

National Institute of Justice Researcher Eric Martin suggests that “Children whose parents are involved in the criminal justice system, face a host of challenges and difficulties. Research suggests that the strength or weakness of the parent-child bond, and the quality of familial support systems, play significant roles in a child’s ability to overcome the hardships of parental incarceration.” Here are a few devastating ordeals that children go through when their parents are incarcerated:


      I.        Exposure to Crime and Violence:

If a parent ever finds themselves in a position to be arrested, there’s a big chance that their children have witnessed a lifestyle of crime and violence. Even without incarceration to contend with, a direct view of criminality can leave children with psychological scars and disorders.


    II.        Exposure to Parental Arrest and Prosecution:

Literally seeing your own parents apprehended by law enforcement is enough to distress any human being. Let alone a minor. Children should either be sheltered from having to observe arrests, or they should be counseled in situations where arrests have been made in their presence.


   III.        Interruptions to Domestic Stability:

The simple fact of the matter is that incarceration rips parents away from their own families. Even when incarceration is justified. The absence of a father or mother introduces uncertainties to the daily lives of children left to fend for themselves.


   IV.        Interaction with the Child Welfare System:

In some circumstances, the child welfare system provides minors with essential care and protection. In some circumstances though, the child welfare system also subjects minors to neglect and abuse. Losing a parent (or both parents) to incarceration puts children at risk of suffering the inadequacies of the child welfare system.



If you or someone you know has a child with an incarcerated parent, be sensitive to their stressful circumstances. Not only do such children have to cope with the absence of a parent, but they also have to endure the indignity of public criticism.  Therapy is highly recommended for children of incarcerated parents. Especially considering the emotional toll of surviving such a disruption.If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative courses, workshops, and events listed on our websites and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, health and wellness, bettering your relationships, or the overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (800) 913-0222 to find out how Richard Martinez can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

Stay connected with news and updates!

Stay up to date with new blog posts, new courses and programs offered by Richard Martinez!
Subscribe to our newsletter! - Get the latest from Richard Martinez in your inbox.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.