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December 2012, Week 1

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Mon, 3 Dec 2012 01:10:03 -0500
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More Children Growing Up With Parents Behind Bars
A Latino child is more than twice as likely to have
an incarcerated parent as a white child. 
By CRISTINA COSTANTINI
ABC/Univision
November 27, 2012
http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/News/children-grow-parents-bars/story?id=17818395

The number of children with parents behind bars in the
United States is growing. And a Latino child is more
than twice as likely to have an incarcerated parent as a
white child.

An infographic created by sociologist Becky Pettit in
her new book, Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the
Myth of Black Progress illustrates a five-fold increase
in the number of children with parents behind bars from
1980 to 2005.

[moderator: please use the link above to view the graphic]

While interpreting the graph, it's important to keep in
mind that the Hispanic population has grown much faster
than the white and black populations since 1980, meaning
there are simply more Latino children and parents in the
U.S. However, taken as a percentage, Latino children are
still more much more likely than white children to grow
up with their parents behind bars. One in 42 Latino
children has a parent in prison, compared to 1 in 111
white children, according to a 2009 report from The
Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group, which
used data from the U.S. Department of Justice. And, when
it comes to black children, one in 15 have a parent in
prison.

But it's not just incarceration that leaves Hispanic
children without parents in the U.S. -- deportations
have taken parents away from thousands of children in
the U.S. in recent years. About 22 percent of all
unauthorized immigrants deported in the first half of
2011 -- 46,486 people --were parents of U.S.-born
children, according to ICE's estimates. In some
instances, parents decide to bring children back with
them to their home countries, but in many others,
parents leave them in the U.S. with relatives,
neighbors, or friends. An estimated 5,100 children are
currently in U.S. foster homes due to the deportation of
their parents, according to the 2011 "Shattered
Families" report by the Applied Research Center, an
advocacy organization.

One in every one hundred adults in the U.S. is behind
bars, and more than two-thirds are non-white, according
to a 2008 Pew study. The Sentencing Project report found
that children who grow up with parents in prison are
more likely to "drop out of school, engage in
delinquency, and subsequently be incarcerated
themselves."

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