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Juvenile Offenders, Fatherhood, and Incarceration: Information for Well-Informed Programs and Policies

NCJ Number
Offender Programs Report Volume: 6 Issue: 5 Dated: January/February 2003 Pages: 65-66,76,78
Anne M. Nurse Ph.D.
Russ Immarigeon M.S.W
Date Published
January 2003
5 pages
This article examined how the incarceration of juvenile fathers affected their relationships with their children and examined the need to develop policy and program alternatives.
Each year an increasing number of young fathers spend time in the Nation’s correctional facilities. Time incarcerated presents insurmountable obstacles for a father struggling to build or maintain a close and positive relationship with his children. This article addresses the juvenile, incarcerated father population and findings from a study on how being in prison affected fathers’ relationships with their children. Surveys were conducted with 258 paroled fathers from the California Youth Authority with follow-up in-depth interviews with 20 of the 258. In addition, observations were conducted in over 40 parenting classes and in prison visiting hours to observe both the men’s experiences as fathers in prison and their experiences when they returned home. It is imperative that ways be found to mitigate the harm done to children, families, and communities by the incarceration of fathers. The data provide some important guidance with the knowledge of a heavy workload ahead. Policymakers, practitioners, academics, and voters are urged not to ignore juvenile fathers; they are too numerous and important a group to ignore.