Kids of Inmates Deserve Support



Book Connections: Inmate and Child

Would you like your inmate to connect with his/her child? Kids in the LOOP will provide both the inmate and child with the same title book and some discussion starters so a "book connection" can be made. Click here to print off the request form.

 Below is a list of books that you may find beneficial for children with incarcerated parents, caregivers, incarcerated parents and practitioners.

The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail Higgins, Melissa 2011 Child Grades K-3 In the story, Sketch learns from the adults in his life that he has done nothing wrong, and it is perfectly normal to be scared, angry and even embarrassed about his dad being in jail. He even gets to visit him in jail and later at the prison where his dad is serving a six-year sentence. Sketch gets matched with a male mentor, and he even meets other children who have a mom or dad in prison.

What is most wonderful about The Night Dad Went to Jail, is that young readers going through this traumatic experience in their own lives will be able to fully relate to the main character. Author Melissa Higgins manages to tell the story without sugar-coating the negative situation, yet also without scaring the reader.
Kofi's Mom Dyches, Richard 2010 Child Grades K-3 Kofi's Mom is a story about Kofi whose mother is sent to prison. It explores his feelings of loss and confusion. Through friends at school, Kofi begins to talk about his mom and to look forward to her return.
My Daddy is in Jail Bender, Janet M. 2013 Child Grades K-5 This story is designed to be read by an adult to one or a small group of children. The facilitator's instructions, questions, and small group activities are provided as suggestions as needed.
Help for kids: understanding your feelings about having a parent in prison or jail Gesme, Carole 1993 Child Grades K-5 An activity workbook that explores the many mixed-up feelings that accompany the absence of a parent due to incarceration. It teaches peer pressure responses, provides tools for problem-solving, and helps students accept their feelings
Why is my daddy in jail? Tomlison, Pamela 2013 Child Grades 1-5 Why Is My Daddy In Jail is about children who have a hard time dealing and wondering why their daddy is in jail. This book might help them ease their fears and help them understand it is nothing that they did, it is a mistake their daddy made and he has to pay for his mistake until he learns that he can not make mistakes like that again.
An Inmate's Daughter Walker, Jan 2006 Child Grades 5-8 During the summer between seventh and eighth grades, Jenna, her mother, and her little brother move in with her grandparents while her father is in a Washington State prison, but as Jenna tries to fit in and make friends it becomes increasingly difficult to comply with her mother's demands for secrecy.
Do Not Pass Go Hill, Kirkpatrick 2007 Child  Grades 5-8 When Deet's father is jailed for using drugs, Deet learns that prison is not what he expected, nor are other people necessarily the way he thought they were.
Jakeman Ellis, Deborah 2007 Child Grades 5-9  Jake and his older sister Shoshona, along with a busload of kids, visit their mother in prison regularly; but this time the journey turns into a series of misadventures, and the kids find themselves on their own, hatching a plan to find the Governor and plead with him to pardon their moms.
Queenie Peavy Burch, Robert 1987 Child Grades 5-9 Tormented by taunts that her father is in prison, thirteen-year-old Queenie retaliates by causing a lot of trouble until she discovers something important about her father and herself.
Wish You Were Here: Teens Write about Parents in Prison Spanne, Autumn (editor) 2010 Teen Teens write about their feelings of having a parent in jail.
Lesson Learned Sewell, Earl 2009 Teen Keysha's mom, recently released from prison, wants to reconnect with Keysha and her brother, but Keysha fears her mother's past will endanger her own present and future.
Parenting from Prison: A hands-on guide for incarcerated parents Birney, James 2011 Parent This is a great guide that has practical tips, techniques & activities that will get the incarcerated parent connected to his/her child.
Parenting and Prison: A book of advice and understanding. Croft, Sharon 2010 Parent A guide for parents who have a son or daughter in prison The book quotes scripture and is very spiritual.
Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents Burgess, Stacey 2009 Practioner This book is for counselors, social workers, psychologists and teachers who work with children ages 7-12 who have a parent who is in jail or prison. It is designed so that work can be done individually or in small groups.

Each chapter includes a brief literature review, suggestions for additional supports, discussion questions, fictional letters between a boy and his incarcerated father, activities, and reproducible worksheets. 
All alone in the world: children of the incarcerated Bernstein, Nell 2005 Adult This is more of a sociological study on the impact of children with incarcerated parents.
The Unvarnished Truth about the Prison Family Journey Esparza, Carolyn 2013 Adult One frantic call from the local jail catapults an entire family on a frightening journey that no family would wish to travel. Their traumatic journey encounters endless frustration and infuriating madness from which there is no escape. Millions of Americans are traumatized by the mass incarceration in this country. The Unvarnished Truth about the Prison Family Journey is an exceptional resource for prison families, as well as those serving them in the fields of criminal justice, education, ministry and mental health care. The authors have over fifty years combined personal and professional experience with the criminal justice system. They weave graphic personal, legal and emotional perspectives into a rare and boldly honest look at the realities faced by prison families. They offer encouragement and hope for successfully navigating the journey.
Loving through bars: children with parents in prison Martone, Cynthia 2005 Adult This book was written by a school principal who had students with a father in prison. The experience of helping those children led her to interview other families with a parent in prison. The combination of interviews and personal reflections make this book an honest and sensitive display of a difficult situation. I have found it to be helpful for my own understanding of students with a parent in prison.
The Art Of Holding Together Your Relationship While Doing Time In Prison Ward, Frederick 2012 Adult  This book is designed to help your relationship stay healthy by offering mounds of personal insight that will help your days, weeks, months or years go by smoother. 
Children of Incarcerated Parents Gabel, Katherine 1997 Adult The authors and their contributors, including Meda Chesney-Lind, offer guidance to aid social workers, psychologists, and others who work with children whose parents are in prison to help meet the children's needs and prevent future delinquency, adult offenses, and ultimately, cross-generational incarceration.
Freed to be fathers : lessons from men doing time Smith, Kenwyn K 2003 Adult  
Hidden Victims The Effects of the Death Penalty on Families of the Accused  Sharp, Susan F 2005 Adult Powerful, poignant, and intelligently written, Hidden Victims challenges all of us--regardless of which side of the death penalty you are on--to understand the economic, social, and psychological repercussions that shape the lives of the often forgotten families of death row inmates.
Incarceration and the Family Issues, Effects and Approaches to Successful Reentry U.S. Department of Health 2009 Adult This book provides an overview of the current research that addresses issues concerning incarcerated men, their partner and parenting relationships, and the policies and programs that may assist them in their rehabilitation in prison and after release. The number of individuals involved in the criminal justice system is at a historic high. More stringent sentencing standards for felons, harsher laws on drug-related activity, and more aggressive prosecution practices have combined to bring an unprecedented number of Americans under correctional supervision. Over the last 25 years, the number of incarcerated persons has increased four-fold. Most individuals leave behind intimate partners and children when they go to prison, and this separation can have negative repercussions on family life. Examined in this book are the social policies that address the intersection of incarceration and family life that have emerged at the federal, state, and local levels.
Parental incarceration and the family : psychological and social effects of imprisonment on children, parents, and caregivers Arditti, Joyce A 2012 Adult Bringing a family focus to issues of incarceration, it combines a sound conceptual foundation and extensive literature review with vignettes and observations of real people who broke the law and are locked up for years. We get to see the impact that our nation’s correctional policies have on incarcerated mothers and fathers as well as on the children, spouses, and extended family who are left back home. 
When a parent goes to jail : a comprehensive guide for counseling children of incarcerated parents Yaffe, Rebecca M 2009 Adult Explains rules, laws, choices, and consequences resulting in going to jail, discusses what to expect from the legal system, and provides advice on coping with having a parent in jail.
Disrupted Childhoods: Children of Women in Prison Siegel, Jane A. 2011 Adult  Disrupted Childhoods explores the issues that arise from a mother's confinement and provides first-person accounts of the experiences of children with moms behind bars. Jane A. Siegel offers a perspective that recognizes differences over the long course of a family's interaction with the criminal justice system.
Children of Incarcerated Parents: Theoretical Developmental and Clinical Issues Editors: 2010 Adult This important book covers developmental outcomes of children in this predicament, parenting from prison, and family reunification. It is filled with research findings and addresses clinical issues as well. Many children are affected by a parent in the criminal justice system, and this book is sorely needed. The editors and contributors have produced a wonderful resource.
What will happen to me? Zehr, Howard 2011 Caregivers This book has advice on how to answer questions such as "Where is my Mom (or Dad)?" "Will this happen to me?"
Love Lives Here, Too: Real-Life Stories About Prison Marriages and Relationships (Think Outside the Cell) Rule, Sheila R.  2011 Adult In their own words, the incarcerated, the formerly incarcerated, and those who love them in this moving anthology explore the complex realities of marriages and relationships lived in the long shadow of prison.

Defying the frightening myths and stereotypes to which the media and society have reduced them, the people in this collection eloquently tell their own stories and speak their own truths.