A new report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation today revealed that 228,000 children in Michigan, or 1 in 10 children, have had a parent incarcerated, out of more than 5 million nationally. Only Indiana and Kentucky have a higher percentage.
According to the report, A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration on Kids, Families and Communities, Michigan has the fifth largest population of kids who have had a parent incarcerated, behind California (503,000), Texas (477,000), Florida (312,000) and Ohio (271,000).
Incarceration continues to devastate families of color in particular, as African-American kids are seven times more likely and Latino kids are three times more likely to have a parent incarcerated than their white peers. Research shows that having an incarcerated parent can have as much impact on a child’s well-being as abuse or domestic violence.
While Michigan spends heavily on corrections, including more than it spends on higher education, few resources exist to support family members left behind. The League joins the Casey Foundation in calling for policies and practices that prioritize the needs of children of incarcerated individuals.