Research Abstract

This project aims to understand if there are any differences in the psychosocial development of children whose mothers are incarcerated. This will be done by comparing literature that follows children who were born prior to their mothers being incarcerated, with those children who were born while their mothers were incarcerated.

In approaching this project, I will conduct literature reviews on the question of the psychological impact of maternal incarceration on children and whether the practices in such countries as India, where children stay with mothers in jail until they are toddlers, is better for the psychosocial development of the children than the practices in the United States. There will be no data to analyze, other than looking at data from the Bureau of Justice statistics on the number of children born in US prison system. This information will be obtained by using the SWEM library search engines to look for published papers on the subject. The SWEM library search engine will also be used to look for other documents on global practices on mothers giving birth in prison and when and how their children are separated from them. This will then lead to me looking up more published papers on the practices in the US, and whether this practice varies by state. I will also be using the library’s resources to look for information on the percentage of children who were born while their mothers were in prison, as well as protocols for children being adopted or raised by family members. In addition, I will look at if there are any states in the US that provides psychological services to such children. The project will ultimately end with a well drawn out proposal for further studying of the issue with data.

Resources that will be needed for this project include files and archives in SWEM library. I will also primarily use the SWEM library search engine to access published papers on the subjects of interest.

This project aims to present a compelling proposal that urges others to further study the question on psychological impact of maternal incarceration on children, and possible alternatives to the current U.S protocol. The project will hopefully present compiled knowledge on a subject that is not widely researched, and will be a catalyst for further  discussion and data analysis.