Christopher Wildeman Discusses the Consequences of Mass Incarceration for Children

Professor Christopher Wildeman
April 17, 2017

On Thursday, April 13th, Professor Christopher Wildeman presented his research that evaluates the consequences of mass incarceration for children in the United States. Professor Wildeman notes that, “in the last 40 years, parental incarceration has shifted from an incredibly rare experience affecting only the most unfortunate children to an experience that roughly one in two African American children (but only one in thirty White Children) will experience at some point.” These high levels of incarceration have enduring ripple effects on social inequality. Among other important findings, Professor Wildeman discussed that children with a father who has been incarcerated at some point face a 50 to 100% increased risk of homelessness. He concluded the presentation by discussing three potential areas for policymaking.

After the talk, Professor Wildeman engaged in Q&A with an audience of undergraduates, graduate students, and Yale faculty, among others interested in criminal justice, public health, and child development.

Christopher Wildeman is an Associate Professor of Policy Analysis and Management (PAM) in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, where he is also co-director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) and a faculty fellow at the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR), the Center for the Study of Inequality (CSI), Court-Kay-Bauer Hall, and the Cornell Population Center (CPC). Since 2013, he has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Bureau of Justice Statistics in Washington, D.C. Since 2015, he has also been a Senior Researcher at the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit in Copehagen, Denmark. Prior to joining Cornell’s faculty in 2014, Christopher was an Associate Professor of Sociology, a faculty fellow at the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE), and a faculty fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS) at Yale University, as well as the co-director of the New Haven Branch of the Scholars Strategy Network (SSN). His research and teaching interests revolve around the consequences of mass imprisonment for inequality, with emphasis on families, health, and children.