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MN Strengthening Families Affected by Incarceration Collaborative

More than 5 million children in the U.S. have ever had a parent who lived with them go to jail or prison.
Wilder Research is part of a collaborative of experts from public and private agencies to address the strengths and needs of families affected by incarceration in our state.

Consequences of parental incarceration

Incarceration often creates challenges for children and families at home, in school, and in their communities. Using data from the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey (MSS), the collaborative examined who has an incarcerated parent and the affect on academic outcomes, chemical use, and mental health outcomes. Findings are available in a series of infographics: 

Forum series

The collaborative hosted three forums for school staff, mental health workers, parents, caregivers, correctional facilities staff and others who interact with youth:

Watch videos from all the forums

Our response

MN Strengthening Families Affected by Incarceration Collaborative has four goals:
  1. Collect, analyze, and explore additional data needs and collection methodologies.
  2. Create and implement a communication and training plan.
  3. Develop recommendations for policies and practices as they relate to improved family engagement.
  4. Map policies and practices that need change and develop recommendations.

Evaluations of programs that serve families affected by incarceration


 Participating Organizations

Big Brother/Big Sisters
Bridge Builders for Kids
Council on Crime & Justice
Hennepin County Library
Minnesota Department of Corrections
Minnesota Department of Education
Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota Department of 
   Human Services
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota
Initiative Foundation
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
Minnesota Fathers and 
   Families Network
Parenting with Purpose
Ramsey County Child Support
Restorative Parenting
University of Minnesota
Volunteers of America – Minnesota
Volunteers of America – National
Wilder Research

 Related Topic

Juvenile girls in the justice system
Historically, boys were much more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system than girls, and often for more violent crimes. But the gap is narrowing, and not for the better.
Wilder Research, in collaboration with Amicus, Inc. (now Volunteers of America-Minnesota), was awarded a major grant  to conduct a 3-year evaluation of a program that offers gender-responsive services.

Learn more

Girls in the Justice System: Gender Matters blog by Steve Nelson, Amicus Radius