Why Punish the Children? A Reappraisal of the Children of Incarcerated Mothers in America

The incarceration rate for female offenders has skyrocketed in recent years. This has spurred unwelcomed growth of the invisible class of infants, children, and teenagers who find themselves without a mother at home. While new legions of children are growing up separated from their mothers, government agencies appear more powerless than ever to attend to the needs of their children, their mothers, and their caregivers. Now more than ever, we must renew our concern and define our commitment to these children.