A report by Child Trends, a Maryland research center, released on Tuesday found that One in fourteen American children has a parent who has spent time in jail or is currently behind bars.
The study concluded that an unexpectedly high number of children in the United State, more than five million, have had a parent that lived with them go to jail.
According to the new study, an African American child is twice as likely to have an incarcerated parent, with roughly fourteen percent of all African American youths currently between the ages of twelve and seventeen years having seen a parent go to jail at some point in their lifetimes. Child Trends said that these figures could possibly be an underestimation due to single parent family homes.
Child Trends found that the impact on children due to parental incarceration is damaging, severely affecting a child’s mental and physical health and causing behavioral issues and poor performance in school.