Children of incarcerated parents have a greater degree of sleep and eating problems, according to a recent crime report.
“Children of incarcerated mothers were more likely to experience insufficient sleep on a regular basis. Moreover, the diets of these children were characterized by more fast food, sweets, soda, and salty snacks, relative to children whose mothers had not experienced incarceration,” The Crime Report published in April.
“We also found that having a father behind bars poses similar risks to children’s sleep and dietary patterns.”
The report highlights several additional findings on children of the incarcerated with increases in:
- academic difficulties
- behavioral problems
- illicit drug use
- socio-emotional skill deficits
The report proposed using elementary schools as “points of intervention,” citing that children of incarcerated parents can be identified better by teachers, staff and administrators.
“It may be worthwhile to consider implementing policies that encourage and reward school systems for adopting healthier guidelines for meals and snacks, especially those in disadvantaged communities where there is a larger proportion of households affected by incarceration,” noted The Crime Report.
“Our findings should make it clear that incarceration impacts not only the parent who is under correctional control, but also has profound and widespread effects on the health and well-being of their offspring.”