Sesame Street jail: The newest muppet, Alex, is representative of a growing problem — 1 in 28 children in the US have a parent locked up. Here's a list of facts you may not know about parents in jail.
Screenshot from Sesamestreet.com
Sesame Street's newest muppet, Alex, has a dad who is in jail. Alex represents a population of children whose parent or parents are currently incarcerated. Here's a list of facts you may not know about parents in jail.
One in 28 children in the United States have a parent who is in jail. A quarter of a century ago, that number was only 1 in 125.
The number of children with a parent in jail changes significantly based on the race of the child. One in nine African-American children have a parent in jail while 1 in 58 white children have an incarcerated parent.
Of all the inmates in the US, 54 percent are parents with children 17-years-old and younger. Fathers are more likely to be behind bars than mothers — 1.1 million in jail compared to 120,000.
Of the children with a father in jail, 23 percent received a suspension or expulsion from school compared to only 4 percent of their peers without an incarcerated father.
Between 1991 and 2007, the number of parents in jail increased almost 80 percent. The number of children with a mother in jail doubled in that same period.
About half of parents incarcerated have children under the age of 9.