Overcoming Stigma, Shame For Kids With Parents Behind Bars

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 11:02am
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 3:47pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (12.28 MB)
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Judy Krysik and Alexandria Pech.

Just about every kid is embarrassed by their parents at some point in their lives. But for children whose parents are behind bars, the level of stigma and shame can be hard to manage — and there are more Arizona children in that position than you might think.

More than 200,000 children here have at least one parent who is behind bars. Nationally, that number is around 7 percent of all children under the age of 18.

Those children are the focus of a first-of-its kind conference  taking place at Arizona State University's Center for Child Well-Being this week.

Judy Krysik is the director of the center and Alexandria Pech grew up with a father who was serving time.

Pech is now a doctoral student at the University of Arizona who studies the impacts of incarcerated parents on adolescents and she works with the Children of Incarcerated Parents program in Tucson. 

If you like this story, Donate Now!