What can HBCD teams do to support justice-involved families in research?

  • Listen and respond in a non-judgmental and compassionate way if you find out that a parent was or is experiencing involvement with the justice system
  • If the parent becomes incarcerated, do not assume that the child is in foster care
  • Reassure the person that their child can still participate
    • It is possible that someone else can bring the child in for a study visit if they cannot do it themselves
  • If a study participant is on community supervision, ask if there is anything you can do to help them participate
    • Some parents ask for documentation that they are participating in a study but only do this with their written permission, as their participation is confidential
    • Make sure that involvement in the study does not make them violate the conditions of their probation or parole (e.g., being in a room that does not allow an ankle bracelet to transmit a signal)
  • Ask for support from your study navigator
    • Connect with resources for justice-involved families in your area
  • Become aware of your unconscious biases and interact with (and talk about) all children and families in a positive and supportive manner
  • Remember to use a trauma-informed lens
    • It’s about what happens to people, not what they’ve done
    • Behavior is communication
    • Seek out opportunities to further educate yourself about the issue

Course Syllabus

Not Enrolled
Scope of the Issue
Does the US really incarcerate more people than any other country in the world?
How has the number of people incarcerated in the US changed over time?
Key terms
How many people are arrested each year in the US?
Why are there such stark racial and economic inequities in incarceration in the US?
What role do jails play in mass incarceration?
How many people are on probation or parole?
How many women are incarcerated in the US?
Section 1 Quiz
Intersecting Vulnerabilities
What proportion of people who are incarcerated have health and mental health concerns?
What proportion of people who are incarcerated have substance use disorders?
Co-occurence of mental health and substance use disorders in people who were arrested
How are biomedical scientists re-envisioning how the justice system responds to the opioid crisis?
Pregnant women and substance use disorder
Nora’s blog: Pregnant people with substance use disorders need treatment, not criminalization
Section 2 Quiz
"We Are Just Kids"
How many parents are incarcerated in the US?
How many children have a parent incarcerated in jail or prison in the US?
Where do children live during parental incarceration?
Parental incarceration as an adverse childhood experience
What child outcomes are associated with parental incarceration?
Is parental incarceration ever helpful for children?
Does parental incarceration affect children differently depending on the child’s age at the time of the experience?
What is associated with increased stress for children with incarcerated parents?
A parent’s arrest, even if it does not lead to incarceration, can also be challenging for children
Racial Inequities in Arrests
Stressors associated with parental justice system involvement
Stressors and recidivism
Resilience processes for children are more likely when ...
From Stigma to Support
Studies on stigma and incarceration
The language that we use
Can you change your thinking?
Sesame Street in Communities
Listening to youth voices
What can HBCD teams do to support justice-involved families in research?
How policies can respond to parental incarceration
Further reading
Section 4 Quiz
Closing video