Houston Matters

Study Will Examine Effects Of Parental Incarceration On Children

Researchers say very little is known about the effect of parental incarceration on children.

When a child’s parent goes to jail, it has a negative effect on them, obviously. But little is known about the specifics of how that affects kids. Not much is even known about how many jailed inmates have children to begin with.

Some local researchers want to change that and are working with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to potentially implement some policies that would help identify children at risk when their parents are arrested.

Dr. Chris Greeley from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital recently received a grant  from the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute to study that very issue.

He joins Houston Matters to talk about why it’s important to quantify the effects of parental incarceration on children. He says a parent’s incarceration can disrupt a family’s income and access to health care. And we discuss what could be done in facilities like the Harris County Jail to better identify children at risk when a parent gets locked up.

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