When parents are arrested and go to prison or jail, children are affected; when parents come home from prison or jail, children are affected. How? Why? What can help children in these circumstances? These were among the topics covered at a recent conference that I helped organize that was held at Cornell University in September 2016.
The conference was called “Minimizing the Collateral Damage: Interventions to Diminish the Consequences of Mass Incarceration for Children.” It was the 5th Biennial Urie Bronfenbrenner Conference, which included a multidisciplinary mix of scholars from more than a dozen institutions and programs. Attendees ranged from government agency representatives and professionals from national nonprofits to graduate students and faculty from Cornell and other universities.
Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems model has been instrumental in helping scholars understand how macrolevel systems, such as policies related to law enforcement and corrections, affect children’s well-being. So it was wonderful that the conference was at Bronfenbrenner’s scholarly home!
In 2017, the American Psychological Association will publish a volume focusing on proceedings from the conference, edited by Chris Wildeman, Anna Haskins, and me.