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Initiative Quarterly Magazine
Initiative Quarterly

IQ Magazine

Life Sentences

children of incarceration

June 2010

In Minnesota, more than 8,000 children have a parent in jail or prison. For every bad decision, a child is also sentenced to lifetime stigmas, emotional trauma, and a greater chance that they will follow in their parent's footsteps.

How are volunteers, schools, agencies, and law enforcement reaching out to save the kids of today and the communities of tomorrow? This groundbreaking issue profiles the invisible children of the criminal justice system. 

We'd also like to extend a special thank you to the Minneapolis Foundation's Emma B. Howe Fund for their support of this issue!


The Invisible Children

About 10,000 to 15,000 Minnesota children have lost a parent to jail or prison, according to Parenting with Purpose. Many watched as their mother or father was arrested...

Our Turn

Three children share what it's like to lose an incarcerated parent. And find them again.

The Hardest Absence

Every morning, six year-old Amy Nolan begged and cried not to go to school, even locking herself in her mother’s car.

The Great Divide

On one side are the emotional needs of traumatized children. On the other is the hard reality of budgets and security.

From the Inside Out

When deciding how it could strengthen central Minnesota’s safety nets for children of incarcerated parents, the Initiative Foundation went back to its tried and true approach of training, coaching and funding the work of energized volunteers.

The Initiative Foundation's 2009 Annual Report


Better Off?

The Mythology of Parental Incarceration

Unwanted Inheritance

Are Children Condemned to Repeat Criminal Cycles?

Parenting Behind Bars

Classes teach inmates how to connect with their children.


Incarceration Calls Grandparents to Parent Again

All My Children

An editorial by Nell Bernstein