Children’s lives are severely impacted by the imprisonment of a parent. This includes major disruption to education and a substantial increase in the dropout rate. In addition, when young people have run-ins with the justice system, they almost invariably lose. Without expensive lawyers to defend them, they wind up on the receiving end of jail time, fines, and/or a criminal record that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. The impact on education is, needless to say, severe; even a minor run-in with the justice system makes getting a college degree remarkably more difficult, and even completing high school can become too difficult for many young people. These young men and women (mostly men, which causes an entirely different set of problems) are lost to the US labor pool before they ever have a chance to contribute to the nation, and we desperately need them to be contributors, not dependents on the government and the rest of society.
[Administrator’s note: This article is a stub. You can help the Interlock Project by expanding it – see the Participation page for more information on contributing to the Interlock Project.]