A recent article by Columbia Journalism Student Josh Berkman, “Ex-Offenders: What Now? took a look at the Fragile Family Survey and the work of two of the survey’s researchers, CUSSW faculty members Ron Mincy and Marcy Carlson. The study, which informs welfare and child support policy based on data pertaining to relationship trends in unwed parents, has recently taken a new tack in its exploration of urban family dynamics. Noting that in nearly one-third of the families in the survey the father was incarcerated, Mincy, Carlson and the other researchers set out to determine to what extent incarceration, and by extension tougher sentencing laws, are impacting urban family structures and parent-child relationships. Their findings have important ramifications for policy and social research and may hasten a new examination of the full range of consequences of incarceration.

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