Report Details Economic Hardships for Inmate Families

A survey of families that have a member in jail or prison has found that nearly two-thirds struggle to meet their basic needs, including 50 percent that are unable to afford sufficient food and adequate housing.

The report found that costs associated with incarceration, like traveling for prison visits, had pushed more than one-third of the families into debt. The research was conducted by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, Calif.; Forward Together; and more than a dozen community and civil rights organization that work with incarcerated people.

The focus on the economic hardships endured by families after an arrest is an often overlooked element of the nation’s criminal justice system, where 2.4 million people are in prison or jail — many of them fathers or mothers who were their family’s primary income earners, according to the report.

– The New York Times

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