"• Nearly half of state prisoners (47%) and more than half of federal prisoners (57%) reported having at least one minor child.

"• In state prison, about 58% of females were parents with minor children, compared to 46% of males.

"• Nearly 3 in 5 females (58%) and males (57%) in federal prison were parents with minor children.

"• Nearly 1.5 million persons age 17 or younger had a parent who was in state or federal prison in 2016.

"• Parents in state or federal prison had an average of two minor children each.

"• An estimated 19% of minor children with a parent in state prison and 13% with a parent in federal prison were age 4 or younger."


Laura M. Maruschak, Jennifer Bronson, PhD, and Mariel Alper, PhD. Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016. Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Dept. of Justice. NCJ 252645. March 30, 2021.