Incarceration rates have been increasing steadily, since the 1970s (Garland 2001). Although the body of literature on mass imprisonment has grown in recent years, more study is needed in the area of parental incarceration effects on their children (Wakefield & Wildeman 2013). The genre of children books written specifically for children with incarcerated parents has received very little attention in the academic body of literature In this paper I analyze these children’s books in order to demonstrate what messages are being transmitted to these children. More than 50% of all incarcerated persons are parents, so it is important to be aware of the unique needs and feelings of this sensitive population of children (Mathis 2013). In this paper I review 21 children's books geared toward children with a parent in prison. I coded each book individually on several variables in the hopes to further explore the intended messages of these children's books and to find existing correlations between them. Preliminary results have shown the intended message is that of strength. Conversely, use of tone, stereotypical undertones, as well as negative hidden messages within each book may contribute to intergenerational transmission of the perceived risk of incarceration.
Dr. Carlton W. Mathis
Dr. Kamesha Spates
Michael J. Scott
Ashley D. Johnson
Burks, C. (2015). Books Geared Toward Children With Parents In Prison. https://oaks.kent.edu/node/5245
Burks, Carissa. 2015. “Books Geared Toward Children With Parents In Prison”. https://oaks.kent.edu/node/5245.
Burks, C. Books Geared Toward Children With Parents In Prison. 11 Mar. 2015, https://oaks.kent.edu/node/5245.