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Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Family

By OnePlusOne, 30 September 2015 Legal, Mental health, Money

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) identifies nine different factors associated with reoffending and desistance, including family/marital relationships[1]. However, it can be costly when a family member is convicted, putting pressure on these vital relationships. The findings of this report, based on case studies from across the U.S., demonstrates the cost of incarceration for the families, both in monetary terms (immediate legal expenses, fees and fines, and phone and visitation charge), and other costs which are less easy to quantify including: mental health support; care for untreated physical ailments; the loss of children sent to foster care or extended family; permanent declines in income; and loss of opportunities like education and employment for both the individuals incarcerated and their family members – opportunities that could lead to a brighter future.

Unfortunately this is not a situation unique to the U.S. In the UK it is estimated that the costs for transport, visits and money given to the prisoner for canteen items adds up to £200 a month that comes out of the family income[2].

You can view the full research article here.

[1] Commissioning Intentions for 2013-14.

[2] www.prisonersfamilies.org.uk/uploadedFiles/2010_Publications_And_Resources/Facts_and_figures_about_prisoners_families_June2013.pdf

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