Since 2002, the United States has had the highest incarceration rate in the world (Population Reference Bureau). In South Dakota as of July 2016, that meant 3,766 adults behind bars (South Dakota Department of Corrections). Many of them, parents. Nationally, there are over 120,000 incarcerated mothers and 1.1 million incarcerated fathers of children ages 0-17.
Imagine seeing your mother or father handcuffed in front of you, like 67% of youth with incarcerated parents have. International human rights advocates have called parental incarceration “the greatest threat to a child’s well-being in the United States." Research says that though many assume the removal of a criminal parent will improve the situation of child, parental incarceration more often intensifies the challenges that children face (The Osborne Association).