ACEs Motivation Resilience Spirit Thriving

ACEs – Prison

ACEs Question #10

Did a household member go to prison?

The final question in the ACEs Survey does not cover all the potential adverse childhood experiences.  However, this one is very significant.

More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent. That is 1 in 28 children.2
 Approximately 10 million children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives.3
 One in 9 African American children (11.4%), 1 in 28 Hispanic children (3.5%), and 1 in 57 white children (1.8%) in the United States have an incarcerated parent.4
 Approximately half of children with incarcerated parents are under ten years old.
According to a recent Rutgers University study, Parental incarceration is now recognized as an “adverse childhood experience” (ACE); it is distinguished from other adverse childhood experiences by the unique combination of trauma, shame, and stigma.


Many of my students have a parent in prison.  Some have both parents incarcerated and they are being raised by other family members or legal guardians.

As a child, I did not experience having an incarcerated parent.  My answer to question #10 is NO.

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