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How Can We Help the Children of Incarcerated Parents?

Protecting the Rights of Children in the War on Drugs in Latin America and the Caribbean

While it’s widely understood that harsh antidrug policies have led to growing incarceration rates around the world, some of the most powerless victims of these policies are often ignored: the families of men and women in prison, especially their children.

A new report by Church World Service, Childhood that Matters (Niñez que Cuenta), analyzes the impact of parental incarceration on children—such as exposure to violence, feelings of loss and stigma, increasing impoverishment, and difficulty maintaining parent-child relationships. Additionally, the report also offers a series of recommendations drawn from on interviews with children throughout Latin America and the Caribbean who have relatives in prison for nonviolent drug offenses. 

In October 2019, three experts—Corina Giacomello, the report’s lead researcher; Luciano Cadoni, a program officer for Church World Service; and Facundo Sessa, a youth organizer in Uruguay whose testimony informed the report—visited Open Society’s New York City office to discuss their findings and proposals.

Listen to the audio of the event to learn more.

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