Prison Policy Initiative, a nonprofit established in 2001 to produce cutting edge research to expose the broader harm of mass criminalization, recently released a collection of their most important stories and research for 2022. This month, we will touch on how this information directly impacts the women we serve.
In April of 2022, Prison Policy Initiative conducted a survey to gain more understanding of the over 1 million people confined to state prisons nationwide. One portion of the study indicated strong connections between adverse childhood conditions and incarceration:
Family Disruption-33% had an incarcerated parent; 18% were in foster care before 18 years of age.
Homelessness-12% were homeless before the age of 18.
Low Income Family-19% lived in subsidized/public housing before18; 42% indicated their family received public assistance before 18.
Education-62% did not complete high school
Youthful offenders-68% were arrested before 19; 38% arrested before 16.
These statistics ring true for our Changed Choices clients especially in regards to education. During a client’s incarceration, our program staff encourages education opportunities including completion of GED, vocational training and certificates, and college courses (depending on availability at facilities). Continuing education opens the door for better employment opportunities and higher starting salaries.
Next week, we will take a look at Prison Policy Initiative’s report on communication justice.