The Psychological Impact of Incarceration

Research Report

The Psychological Impact of Incarceration

Implications for Post-Prison Adjustment
January 30, 2002


The From Prisons to Home Conference, held on January 30-31, 2002 at the National Institutes of Health, was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the conference was to bring together the research, policy, and practice communities to share promising strategies, identify research needs, and inform federal program and policy development for children and families affected by the incarceration of a parent. Eleven papers were commissioned by leading experts to survey the state of knowledge on the dynamics of incarceration and reentry as seen from the perspectives of child, parent and community. This paper explores the psychological impact of being incarcerated, particularly as it relates to post-prison adjustment. It looks at how prison is experienced by individual inmates, and the impact it has on his/her in-prison behavior and ability to function productively upon release.
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