The Way Back News

Mother comforting her daughter.

The Impact of Incarceration on the Family

When a person goes to prison, he or she isn’t the only person whose life is profoundly changed by the experience. Incarceration has a ripple effect beyond the individual, on his or her family—and community.

According to the National Institute of Justice, family members of incarcerated individuals are often referred to as "hidden victims"—victims of the criminal justice system who are neither acknowledged nor given a platform to be heard. These hidden victims often receive little personal support in navigating life before, during, or after their loved one’s incarceration.

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