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  1. Feb 2017
    1. This article acknowledges the lack of research in understanding how children of incarcerated parents are impacted. The authors discuss the multitude of consequences that can affect children in the present and future; including delinquent behavior, learning barriers, unemployment, and antisocial behavior. With the expansion of criminality, the problem is vastly growing.

      The authors didn’t find evidence to the claim that “children of prisoners are five to six times more likely to be convicted or imprisoned” compared to their peers. They blame variables and use of methodological approaches insufficiently as reasons why findings may have been exaggerated. The authors do present evidence that shows that children are more likely to be arrested, antisocial, and the like, but maintain that data is limited and needs more research to have a definitive answer. The authors referenced the new Cambrdge study and did discuss that it found antisocial behavior to be more apparent in those who had parents incarcerated.

      After discussing five studies that addressed children’s behavior patterns with incarcerated parents, they conclude that parental imprisonment puts a risk on children to develop antisocial behavior patterns. However, they attribute this not to it being a cause, but rather the imprisonment of a parent to be a predictor of child outcomes. They believe that these consequences are from disadvantages of the parents’ imprisonment, rather than the imprisonment itself. Therefore, they conclude that damage was done to the child before the parents was imprisoned.

      The authors do not dismiss that trauma theory, popular in small-scale studies of the affects of children of prisoners. They cite that the longer or more often a parent is incarcerated can have negative affects on the child’s emotional state.

      Overall, the authors cite many mediating factors in the study of children with imprisoned parents. They seem to hold the standards exceptionally high for the methodological approaches to this study and dismiss the studies previously done based on rigor and mediating variables.

    1. A Summary of Housing and Wealth Inequality: Racial-Ethnic Differences in Home Equity in the United States By: B. Stebbins

      Home equity is the largest component of wealth for most households. Therefore, persons who “have previously owned a house are able to use the money earned from its sale to invest in and increase the equity of subsequent housing” (Krivo, Kaufman). However, minorities who already face substantial obstacles in buying homes because of residential segregation and other forms of discrimination in housing and mortgage markets are less capable of accumulating equity to bankroll previous purchases into the next one.

      For example, minorities face discrimination from brokers, racial-ethnic steering, redlining, and other forms of mortgage-lending discrimination. This in turn limits access to communities with greater status and amenities, such as good quality schools, parks, and shopping which have important ramifications for long-term health and well-being. Since social and historical contexts disadvantage minorities prior to their entrance into the housing market, the inequalities reproduced as a result of their active participation in the housing market only compound existing disparities further in their accumulation of housing wealth.

      The microeconomic factors identified above were found to be central determinants of the acquisition and value of housing. The impact being that the social, locational, and financial characteristics of mortgage and housing markets systematically disadvantage minorities in comparison to whites. The social and historical contexts of racial and ethnic groups also strongly influence their ability to obtain more financially and socially advantageous housing. Minority groups were found to be dealt with less favorably throughout each stage of the housing process in comparison to whites, which reduces their overall accumulation of wealth and makes it more difficult to purchase homes, obtain favorable mortgage terms, and break into areas with high home values and levels of appreciation.

      Additionally, it was noted that minority groups are more susceptible to FHA, VA, or FMHA loans which have low down payments but high interest rates contributing to their slower accumulation of equity. While low down payments are beneficial and encourage minorities to enter the market, these loans put minority households at risk as they may not be able to afford the house payments over the long run. Lastly, Krivo and Kaufman noted that it is important to recognize that historical and contemporary processes of discrimination in schools, labor markets, and other social institutions help explain the socioeconomic differences among groups and the reproduction of intergenerational inequality.

      Citation: Krivo, L., & Kaufman, R. (2004). Housing and Wealth Inequality: Racial-Ethnic Differences in Home Equity in the United States. Demography, 41(3), 585-605. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1515194

    1. The Need for Local Flexibility in U.S. Housing Policy: A Summary. By. B. Stebbins

      The point of the article is that national housing programs ignore the diversity of urban housing markets across the U.S. While some communities do well, others suffer from unforeseen and undesirable side effects on a substantial scale as a result. The demand for housing in a metropolitan area is driven by the following trends: price of housing, income growth and distribution, population growth, and household formation. These trends vary dramatically within cities as well as over time which can cause sharp shifts in demand. Since newly built units provide a price ceiling for the rest of the housing market, the poor pay a higher price per unit of housing than others do.

      This is problematic because the supply of housing services from existing units is less price-responsive and particular groups can be constrained by resistance to neighborhood change. Additionally, most household consume more than the minimum amount generally accepted as necessary because they can afford it which further impacts lower income households as they will respond little to price changes and devote an increasing portion of their incomes to housing. Since housing demand is responsive to housing pricing, demand will generally shift more quickly than supply; thus, the market will be in a continuous state of disequilibrium. While the four types of government policies (general filtering strategy, local housing code enforcement and urban renewal, housing allowances, and Section 8) seek to address these concerns, they do so inadequately.

      Struyk argues that broadening the Section 8 program to include low-income homeowners would help eliminate inequities between communities in which low-income households are predominantly renters. Furthermore, creating a dozen or so market types for HUD to provide general guidance to communities as to the likely consequences of alternative housing strategies that included projections of income and population trends would help each city formulate its own housing and community development plans. In conclusion, Struyk sees this as an opportunity to give more flexibility at the local level to address each community's needs through the combination of supply-augmenting subsidies and demand-increasing subsidies.

      Citation: Struyk, Raymond J. “The Need for Local Flexibility in U.S. Housing Policy.” Policy Analysis, vol. 3, no. 4, 1977, pp. 471–483., www.jstor.org/stable/42783231.

    1. Effects of Parental Incarceration on Young ChildrenRoss Parke, University of California-Riverside K. Alison Clarke-Stewart, University of California-Irvine

      PS: 514 Seminar in Public Policy February 20th, 2017 Clarke-Stewart, K. A. & Parke, R. Effects of parental incarceration on young children. (2003). Travis, J. & Waul, M. Prisoners once removed: the impact of incarceration and reentry on children, families, and communities. 189-232. Washington D.C. The Urban Institute Press. There are several determining factors that affect the children of incarcerated parents. Clarke-Stewart and Parke give an analysis of research of these factors, including families, programs in the correctional system, as well as relationship bonds between children and their parents. The article uses research and statistics to explain the different phases a child goes through when their parent is incarcerated. Phases start with short term effects, such as considering the relationship and living arrangements prior to arrest. The long-term effects of incarceration on a child changes depending on the age of the child during the incarceration period as well as the gender of the parent and attachment bond between parent and child. The article covers stakeholders that are generally overlooked in policies and programs such as the caregivers of children during incarceration and the reunification period. An overview of benefits and research supporting programs for incarcerated parents include parenting classes, family visitations, post-incarceration job and home placement as well as prison nurseries. Research shows that recidivism rates for parents in the programs went down, while self-esteem and family connections increased. Clarke-Stewart and Parke note in their article the need for further longitudal research, programs that are accessible, as well as a need for collaboration between several institutions to better support families through the incarceration and reunification periods. Clarke-Stewart and Parke’s article briefly covers several variables that effect children of incarcerated parents. Due to this brief overview, the article makes a good starting point for a reader who is new to subject. Recommendations are to gather updated statistics as well as program and policy information for incarcerated parents and their children.


      YochimJ PS: 514 Seminar in Public Policy O’Brien, R. (2013). Reasonable efforts and parent – child reunification. Michigan State Law Review. 1029

      The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 changed the timeline for states to make reasonable efforts to reunify families that have been separated due to state intervention. However, the timeline decreased and pushed for permanency in a home for the child. Due to constraints, such as a shorter timeline, funding, and resources, a parent’s rights may be terminated instead of reunification. The children that are removed from a home under the ASFA are generally removed due to chronic problems and harm to the child, making the state responsible for determining the balance of constitutional rights of a parent and the health and safety of a child. The majority of families are generally in poverty which can be considered neglect, exasperating the problem of parent’s ability to access resources, stable housing and employment, all of which are necessary for successful reunification.<br> Problems with the AFSA surround reasonable efforts. The timing outlined for reasonable efforts to be made to reunify the family has been shortened as well as the definition of reasonable efforts is vague and can be waived by the courts due to concerns over the safety of the child. Parents may also refuse services which can terminate their rights. The services that are available are dependent on budget. When a state’s budget is short, such as during the 2008 recession, services for reunification may not be available. One of the ways families are supported are through Court Appointed Special Advocates. CASA’s began being utilized in the Superior Court in Seattle, Washington. They are volunteers the work alongside attorneys representing children in foster care. A child with a CASA is more likely to be adopted and not return to the foster care system. CASA’s are necessary advocates due to family and children’s inability to navigate the court system and access resources.

    1. Affordable Housing: The Case for Demand-Side Subsidies in Superstar Cities Summary by Radhika Raj

      In this article, Adam Zeidel examines locally funded affordable housing programs in what he calls, “superstar cities”. A superstar city “is defined by Gyourko et al.; a superstar city is one ‘[in which] demand exceeds supply and supply growth is limited” (Zeidel, 135). Other characteristics of superstar cities include people wanting to pay a large premium to live there, and a disproportionate distribution of wealth. 

      Zeidel studies New York City. This is done because of the large amount of money ($6.4 billion, Zeidel, 136) taken from local resources for affordable housing. Zeidel believes that the academics, policy-makers, and developers have an unclear goal for affording housing policy. It is implied that this is the reason programs do not line up with their policies.

      The most common demographic that benefited from affordable housing policies in New York was seniors. “The existence of senior housing programs indicates that a charitable motive underlies some affordable housing programs” (Zeidel, 138). In this paper, the types of programs that are examined are “government-run public housing, regulation, price controls, subsidies, and tax incentives” (Zeidel, 140). Subsidy programs in New York mainly involve the city giving loans to private developers in order to make affordable housing. “…the Housing Development Corporation (“HDC”) reports that it has committed “$578 million dollars of its corporate reserves to finance the preservation and creation of 25,000 apartments for low, moderate, and middle-income New Yorkers” (Zeidel, 140). Supply side subsidies give incentives such as tax benefits, bonuses, and financing assistance for the preservation of affordable housing. Zeidel also examines demand side subsidies in New York City. It was found that very little of their resources were used compared to the supply side subsidies.

      Even though supply side subsidies were more likely to be favored and funded by the city, Zeidel found that demand side subsidies were more efficient, effective, flexible, and transparent. It was found that “virtually every empirical study performed over the past twenty-five years has found that demand-oriented subsidies are more efficient than supply side subsidies” (Zeidel, 143). It was also found that the demand side subsidies could help more citizens equally rather than helping few substantially. They also scored high in equity. This means that there was a more equal treatment in similar scenarios. Demand side subsidies also were more beneficial because there was a clear cost and benefit. These characteristics were found to be more beneficial overall to the population.

      Zeidel, Adam. “Affordable Housing: The Case for Demand-Side Subsidies in Superstar Cities.” The Urban Lawyer, vol. 42, no. 1, 2010, pp. 135–169., www.jstor.org/stable/27895769.

    2. Eroding the Wealth of Women: Gender and the Subprime Foreclosure Crisis By Amy Castro Baker Summary by Radhika Raj

      In this article, Baker talks about how mortgage markets have evolved to create a policy gap which creates new forms of gender inequality in the housing and lending markets. This article seeks to analyze how single women are affected by gender inequality in the lending market where their loans are characterized by high levels of default and foreclosure.

      The article begins by defining certain key characteristics between traditional prime mortgages and subprime mortgages. Baker explains that “home owners with a subprime mortgage are six to nine times more likely than those with a traditional prime mortgage to be in foreclosure (Renuart 2004; Schloemer et al. 2006)” (59-60). Subprime mortgages are high cost and high risk because they depend on the state of the market. Baker claims that subprime mortgages “tend to be more prevalent in neighborhoods of color where women are predominately the heads of households” (60). This implies that mostly women, specifically women of color, are the ones affected by the risks associated with subprime mortgages.

      Subprime mortgages were not always as prevalent in the market. Baker explains how subprime mortgages only represented a fraction of mortgages until the 1990’s. During this time, there was a shift in focus where a policy window could open and lenders began to create opportunity for the groups that were historically excluded from the mortgage process such as women, people of color, and the elderly.

      In Baker’s article, she claims that single women, particularly those of color, are the ones most affected by mortgage strain in the market. Baker states that, “Single women experience higher rates of subprime lending than their male peers, even when controlling for risk factors such as credit, income, and neighborhood location” (61-62). The article talks about how the gender gap within mortgages creates a risky lending market for women, and how despite the problems of mortgage strain, there has not been much research into the sexism involved in the housing market. Baker also goes on to discuss how these risky mortgages sometimes end in homelessness. Even in this situation, it was found that women had a more difficult time with homelessness compared to men.

      Overall, Baker’s article seeks to explain the reason why women experience gender inequality in housing markets. These inequalities are characterized by the number of subprime mortgages loaned to women, and the amount of mortgage strain that these women have to endure.

    3. No Renters in My Suburban Backyard: Land Use Regulation and Rental Housing A Summary by Radhika Raj

      In this article Schuetz talks about how low and moderate income families are unable to move to more desirable suburban areas because of high cost housing and rental prices. A key point to this article is how certain forms of local zoning and land use regulations are increasing housing prices because of a reduced supply of housing in desirable areas. She uses literature from Anthony Downs to examine how land use, zoning, and rent prices affect equal housing opportunity.

      Schuetz introduces this topic by bringing up a point made in Anthony Downs’ book Opening Up the Suburbs. Downs makes a point that the achievement of society cannot go forward without equal opportunity for all social classes. He claims that the exclusion of lower social classes from living in more desirable suburban areas “will eventually undermine achievement of one of our fundamental goals: true equality of opportunity” (Downs, 1973, p. vii). Starting with this idea, Schuetz makes the point that excluding low-income families could lead to a gap in opportunity for less affluent families. For example, she talks about how by being excluded from a neighborhood can lead to poor families living in areas where they have less employment opportunities, less access to good quality schools, and even less access to public services as well as physical environment. While it may be argued that these families may not have access to these resources because of poor employment potential, lack of skills, or financial irresponsibility, Schuetz makes the argument that zoning codes have a large impact on who can afford to live in improved suburban areas.

      The article examines these claims by looking at the prices of rent and how they are affected by zoning policies. The results of the analysis state that housing regulations hinder production of multifamily housing. This causes a small decrease in rents, but there was no significant association between the increase of multifamily housing and rent prices. Another zoning regulation that is discussed is the increase of greenbelts correlating with increased housing prices. Growth control policies such as greenbelts increase rent prices because they decrease the amount of land available to zone for housing. Traditional zoning policies such as minimum lot size also have an impact on rent prices. These zoning policies are known to raise rent prices by creating a demand of high income housing, with high income resources. Schuetz examines how the small amount of land is zoned for multifamily housing to restrict rental housing. Municipalities can also restrict rentals by creating barriers to development such as special permits.

      Overall, these restrictions suggest that regulations impede the development of new rental housing, which causes housing prices to increase. The effects of zoning are less clear based on the research but it is suggested that the requirement of special permits hinders the ability for multifamily homes to have access to better suburban areas.

    4. The Role of Private Agents in Affordable Housing Policy: A Summary

      By: B. Stebbins

      In the article, Graddy and Bostic analyze the consequences of our increasing reliance on private agents in the formulation and implementation of affordable housing policy and conclude that these private agents do respond to policy incentives - albeit to varying degrees - mitigating concerns about the loss of public control in this policy area. They state that although the federal government has a set of broad policy goals of providing safe, affordable, and quality housing for all, it has not always been able to implement such policy goals well. The widespread dissatisfaction with public production due to its high cost, often poor design and administration led the federal government to move away from and rely on lower levels of government for implementation. This devolution of affordable housing policy has brought a dispersion of authority across state, regional, and local governments and diffuse accountability. Not only do local governments have little incentive to meet federal or regional goals but to the extent that oversight is left at the local level, accountability and coordination will end up being narrowly focused (Graddy & Bostic).

      Compounding these challenges of authority and accountability, Graddy and Bostic state that the primary problem in providing affordable housing is that in the places it is needed most, the rents and sale prices required to make a residence affordable do not support financially feasible projects. Multiple policy instruments like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program, HOME Investment and Partnership Program, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, Section 8 housing vouchers, tax-exempt bonds, density bonus permits, and inclusionary zoning practices are used to incentivize private developers to produce affordable housing. However, the response from private developers to these incentives are different based upon the framework in which they operate and lead to varying degrees of power and influence among the various institutions and actors. Adding to this primary problem is what these affordable housing projects will look like and how they align with local community needs (Graddy & Bostic).

      According to Graddy and Bostic, in both of their case studies of the Massachusetts and New Jersey frameworks, affordable housing production clearly differs, and degrades, once the jurisdictional threshold, as defined by each state, for acceptable housing performance is achieved. This is obviously problematic because jurisdictional changes do not have to be addressed once the acceptable housing performance is achieved, even though the problem of affordable housing may not have been fully addressed. This is because developers recognize and do not seek out jurisdictions for housing projects that would significantly increase their affordable housing share, leaving little incentives for jurisdictions above the threshold to permit more affordable housing. In sum, the most important consequence of our current affordable housing policy is that private developers take a leading role in deciding when and where affordable housing will be built. Thus, the structure of governance of affordable housing policy is of utmost importance in mitigating these concerns of private agents acting in their own self-interest (Graddy & Bostic).

      Citation: Graddy, E., & Bostic, R. (2010). The Role of Private Agents in Affordable Housing Policy. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: J-PART, 20, I81-I99. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20627910

    1. Having a Parent Behind Bars Costs Children, States Having a parent in jail or prison can take an emotional toll on children and lead to higher foster care and welfare rolls. Some states are trying to address it. by Teresa Wiltz, Stateline.org / May 24, 2016 0 Inmates at the National Bilibid Prison are “virtually in touch” with their loved ones. flickr/vickens_dan Jamaill never knew his mother. When he was 1, his father was incarcerated, and Jamaill got to know him largely through letters and phone calls. Twice a year, he would trek from Brooklyn to an upstate New York prison to visit — a trip that involved a plane ride, a long drive and an overnight stay in a motel. Now, the 10th-grader’s father has been transferred to another prison even farther away. So they’ll stay in touch with “televisits,” video-conferenced meetings. Jamaill doesn’t think it should be so hard for kids to see their imprisoned parents. And that’s what he told New York state legislators in March. “Incarcerated parents need to be closer to home,” said Jamaill, 15, who lives with his grandmother and doesn’t want his last name used because he doesn’t want to further stigmatize his father. “Some people have to drive nine, 10 hours to see their parents — and then only have 30 minutes to talk to them.” Many states are beginning to look at a growing body of research that shows that having a parent behind bars can have a destabilizing effect on an estimated 1.7 million children like Jamaill. The separation can have costly emotional and social consequences, such as trauma and trouble in schools, homelessness, and bigger welfare and foster care rolls. Some states are encouraging greater contact between the children and their parents by using new technology such as televisiting, or by placing parents in the closest correctional facility. And some are trying to intervene when a parent is charged, tried and convicted of a crime to provide emotional support and a stable home for the children. In New York, for example, the Senate’s corrections committee advanced a bill in March that would create a pilot program that places sentenced parents in the nearest jail or prison. The federal government allows states to use funding from the National Family Caregiver Support Program to provide grandparents and other elderly relatives who care for the children with services such as counseling. Washington, for example, has a statewide network of “kinship navigators” that connects families and extended relatives with legal services, health care and parenting classes. Some states also are looking at ways to better reconnect children with their parents after they leave jail or prison, and to help ease the parents back into society to provide a more stable family life for their children. In Georgia, a statewide council on criminal justice reform tailors policy and services designed to reduce the barriers to employment after a parent is released from prison. In California, the state suspends child support payments for anyone who is incarcerated for more than 90 days. This prevents late fees on child support payments from piling up while parents are locked up, which can often create insurmountable debt when they are released. In San Francisco, a coalition of nonprofits, representatives of government bodies and advocates work together to ensure the well-being of children of incarcerated parents at every step of their involvement with the criminal justice system. This includes protocols on steps police officers should take to minimize trauma on children who witness a parent’s arrest, sentencing guidelines and life after prison. “The trauma associated with having an incarcerated parent is like that of divorce or domestic violence,” said Scot Spencer of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a research and advocacy group that focuses on child welfare. “There’s an emotional and an economic impact.” Staggering Numbers More than 5 million children, or one in 14, in the U.S. have had a parent in state or federal prison at some point in their lives, according to the Casey Foundation. Their numbers swelled by 79 percent between 1991 and 2007, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) figures, largely driven by tough drug laws and mandatory sentencing. Thirteen percent of the children in Kentucky have had a parent behind bars, the largest percentage of any state, according to an April report from the Casey Foundation. Indiana follows at 11 percent. New Jersey has the lowest, at 3 percent, followed by New York, at 4 percent. Children of color are much more likely to have a parent in prison. One in nine African-American children had a parent behind bars in 2008, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report (Pew also funds Stateline). One in 28 Latino children had an incarcerated parent and one in 57 white children did. Sixty-two percent of women in state prisons reported having minor children and 51 percent of male state prisoners did, according to the BJS. Maintaining close connections with a parent behind bars appears to be good for a child’s emotional well-being and for the parent, said state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, sponsor of the New York bill to set up a pilot project to move incarcerated parents closer to their children. Closer family bonds tend to reduce recidivism, he said, and his project can help demonstrate that. “Having that connection is a positive for the child; it’s positive for the incarcerated individual,” Rivera, a Democrat, said. “And it’s a positive for society. When we have people that are working, productive members of society, they’re not wasting [taxpayer] money.” Kiara, an 18-year-old high school senior from Brooklyn, agrees that it’s important for children to be close to their incarcerated parents. Her father has been in and out of prison since she was a baby. Mostly, they’ve kept in touch through letters and email, and an occasional visit. These days, her dad is incarcerated at New York’s Coxsackie Correctional Facility, more than a two hours’ drive north from Brooklyn. The last time she saw her dad was in November. Visiting him is a hassle, she said, because it involves long lines and hours of waiting. “Then I only have an hour to talk to him,” said Kiara, who doesn’t want her last name used because she said she doesn’t trust anyone but her family and counselors with information about her father’s incarceration. But the effort to stay close is worth it, she said. “We grew a good relationship,” Kiara said. “There’s no negativity, only joy. I can tell him things I wouldn’t be able to tell my mom. He gives me good advice. He tells me he doesn’t want me to end up like him.” Help After Prison Many children can fall through the cracks when a parent is sent to prison, especially if the parent was the child’s sole support, some children’s advocates say. And it can be difficult for states to help them. In New York, for instance, no city or state agency is solely responsible for coordinating services and tracking the well-being of the more than 100,000 children with a parent behind bars, said Tanya Krupat, program director for the NY Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents at the Osborne Association, a nonprofit based in Brooklyn. Incarceration also often forces families deeper into poverty and debt, the Casey Foundation report said. Their families are more likely to rely on public welfare programs such as food stamps and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. And these children may be more likely to join the other 400,000 children throughout the U.S. in state foster care. When an incarcerated parent is released, the families continue to struggle with finding work and a place to live because of the stigma attached to a criminal conviction. That’s prompted some states to pass so-called ban the box laws that prohibit employers from asking about a person’s criminal history in job applications as a way of encouraging employment after prison. Georgia, which has an incarceration rate 32 percent higher than the national average, has taken several steps in the past few years to help ease the transition from prison to society and help former inmates gain employment — with a goal to help provide stability for their children. This year, the Legislature passed bills to lift the state’s lifetime ban on food stamps for people with felony drug convictions, allow judges to seal the records of first-time offenders at sentencing, help ease the way to get occupational licenses and provide retroactive reinstatement of driver’s licenses revoked for drug offenses. Lawmakers also created a tax incentive program that encourages employers to hire parolees. If former prisoners “can’t take care of themselves, they can’t take care of their own families,” said Doug Ammar of the Georgia Justice Project, an Atlanta-based advocacy group that worked with the Legislature in crafting the laws. Family Ties In Brooklyn, Jamaill is counting the days until his father is released from prison, although he will be 20 by then. He plans to be in college, so he’s not sure if he’ll be living with his father, or if his father will have to live in a halfway house. There is one thing he is sure about, however. “The second they tell me he’s out, I’m driving out there,” he said. “I’m going to be right there, waiting for him.”

      The article touches on the tragic account of a child whose parent is incarcerated and located at a prison hundreds of miles from where he is living. Many people are having to travel numerous hours, board a plane, and make extra effort to see their parents for thirty minutes to an hour.

      States are beginning to look at the expanding research of the costs to children with parents behind bars. Separation can take a toll on emotional and social health of children, and cause issues in school and behavior.

      New York has created a program that allows the parents to be located in nearby jails and prisons to remain close to the children. Washington has a “Kinship Navigator” program that connects families to legal services, health care, and parenting classes to help families remain connected. Other states have programs that allow children and parents to video-chat as a means of communication.

      Many other states are trying to combat the issue by working with grants and existing services, as well as nonprofits and other entities that can help alleviate the burden on states and local governments.

      While other entities are trying to compensate for what the government doesn’t provide, the number of children with parents behind bars are increasing, due to mandatory sentencing and tough drug laws. It’s apparent that more public policy avenues need to be addressed in order to rehabilitate incarcerated parents and keep families together. Deeper issues such as systemic racism in the criminal justice system also need to be addressed so that children of minorities are not being disproportionately affected by prison sentences.

    1. The article summarizes the affects of children with incarcerated parents; they are more likely to drop out of school, get into trouble, and have a higher likelihood of also being incarcerated. Children whose parents are incarcerated may live with the other parent, or if there is no other parent, immediate family, or foster care. This issue disproportionately affects families of color.

      This study shows that maternal incarceration may be more damaging than paternal incarceration. The number of incarcerated mothers has doubled between 1991 and 2007. The authors argue that the affects of children to inmates should be considered before getting “tough on crime.”

      Interestingly enough, in households where the parent was abusing substances, incarceration of a parent might have proved to be more positive, and could result in a more stable environment for the child. However, due to the rapid movement of inmates, contact with parents can be limited and actually hurt the child more.

      The authors state that public policies often exacerbate the challenges faced by incarcerated parents and their children. The Adoption and Safe Families Act signed by President Clinton terminated the parental rights if a child has been living in foster care for 15 of the past 22 months. Typically a prison sentence is longer than 22 months, which proves to be an issue for parents to regain custody upon exit.

      When parents have felonies it can be difficult to find work, and the welfare reform legislation that limited the years individuals can receive cash assistance and food stamps can make it impossible for children to be reunited with their parents.

    1. A Summary on Urban Growth and Housing Affordability: The Conflict

      By: B. Stebbins

      The premise of the article is that when cities are in decline, they experience decreasing density and an excess supply of housing which keeps housing prices low. However, when cities grow their density increases resulting in higher housing prices and rents because urban land is in limited supply (Voith & Wachter, p. 113).

      The article points out several different factors that can enable some cities to stabilize, grow, and emerge from a cycle of decline by reinventing themselves as knowledge centers. Voith & Wachter attributed the shift away from manufacturing as a considerable drive in city decline. The gap in cost competitiveness between city and suburban locations was also a contributing factor. However, today there is little manufacturing left to lose with the development of the white-collar economy as any remaining manufacturing is specialized and dependent on the knowledge- and market-related agglomerations provided by cities (Voith & Wachter, p. 119).

      The article examined about thirty different “comeback” cities for rental versus housing affordability by analyzing trends in the capitalization rates, which is the ratio of rents to housing prices. These differences in “capitalization rates across cities can be thought of as a result of different forecasts of supply and demand in the housing market, as well as different forecasts of risks in investing in these markets.” They noted that “cities with high capitalization rates reflect higher risks, lower forecasted population growth, and low future rental growth” (Voith & wachter, p. 120).

      Another important factor that they noted was the elasticity of supply or a city’s ability to grow. Geographical constraints like peninsulas or islands have low elasticity because demand can increase but supply is simply unable to do the same resulting in price increases. Additionally, they noted that very little affordable housing is constructed in the United States that isn’t subsidized directly through government programs, supported by nonprofit initiatives, or required through regulation like inclusionary zoning laws. Therefore, any new market rate housing that is affordable is often produced where the land costs are cheap and distant from economic opportunity, which often leads to higher transportation costs.

      Voith & Wachter argue that this is problematic because if left to the market alone, these growing cities are unlikely to provide any significant amount of new affordable housing units because the cost of such projects do not justify their moderate pricing. Consequently, this is why you often see housing passed down or filtered from higher-income groups to lower-income groups in the United States as the housing ages, depreciates, and becomes increasingly obsolescent (Voith & Wachter, p. 124). They suggest that because rental increases are not as volatile as housing prices, slowing decline in the older neighborhoods should provide some housing affordability relief as fewer units will be allowed to deteriorate to the point of abandonment which will manage to stave off disinvestment in the near term.

      Citation: Voith, R., & Wachter, S. (2009). Urban Growth and Housing Affordability: The Conflict. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 626, 112-131. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40375927

    1. The article discussed the goal of the child welfare system as providing for the well-being of children to be accomplished within their families whenever possible. Due to the complications of life, it is becoming exceedingly impossible to keep some children within the structures of their families. Extreme poverty, violence, and substance abuse are among those complications. In order to protect children from such instances, or at the very least intervene when actions are taking place, child welfare service programs were established.

      The intensity of such programs vary depending on the situation prevented. If there is unemployment, or a loss of income, services are provided by government and/or the community. However, a situation such as abuse could cause Family Service programs to relocate a child, depending on various factors. This can often be hard because the main goal of these services is to keep the family in-tact, rather than separate. Additionally, there has been legislation passed that maintains the goal of keeping families together until a catastrophe occurs.

      Due to legislation passed, much of the family-centered services are done in a collaborative form between many different agencies. This can cause issues because there is no central agency responsible for the child in a situation in question, so when situations go awry, there is no single source to blame.

      Additionally, since in previous years there is increasing demand for these services, the planning service groups must reach out to the community to fill those gaps, often leaving legislative bodies to assume they don’t need more funding after all.