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Sentence Unseen: Children of Incarcerated Parents Funder’s Briefing

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 -
8:30am to 11:00am PDT
East Bay Community Foundation
Plaza A, 353 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA 94612
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The recent national interest in decarceration and related statewide policies has brought increased attention to the needs of individuals involved in the criminal justice system. This, along with a growing grassroots movement and several seminal articles, has raised awareness about the detrimental and racially disparate impact of incarceration on family members.

However, children of incarcerated parents are often an invisible or overlooked population that face significant challenges but don't fit neatly into the traditional responsibility of any public agency or private funding strategy. The criminal justice system rarely considers the needs of children, despite the fact that more than 50% of incarcerated adults in this country are parents to an estimated 2.7 million children. In fact, one in every 14 children has had at least one parent incarcerated at some point in their lives. Although children of incarcerated parents typically attend public schools, they tend to go under the radar and don't disclose their situation due to tremendous stigma. As a result, they rarely get access to the supports or mental health services that they need. And these children and youth often don't come to the attention of the child welfare system because they are frequently cared for by non-incarcerated parents or relatives, who carry the emotional and financial burden with a dearth of services or supports.

As elected officials, agency directors, and funders consider strategies to better address the needs of people involved in the justice system, as the nation reconsiders policing practices, as school districts manage local controlled funding, and as trauma and adverse childhood experiences increasingly become part of the mainstream vernacular, it is imperative to ensure that the needs and rights of this vulnerable population are not overlooked. 

This briefing will share some promising, multi-systemic approaches to ameliorate the negative impact of parental incarceration, as well as findings from a not-yet-released, first-of-its-kind survey of the Alameda and San Francisco jail populations. Participants also will hear from youth with incarcerated parents and formerly incarcerated parents, as well as funders that have invested in this work.

This program is open to all NCG members and non-member funders. If you are a grantmaker, but not a member of NCG, please register by emailing

Project WHAT! // The Hidden Sentence on Vimeo.



Join us to: 

  • Increase understanding of the scope, realities and rights of children with incarcerated parents
  • Increase understanding about the many systems that these children, youth and families touch—education, child welfare, behavioral health, justice
  • Increase understanding of policy and practice changes that have been made, and those still needed, to make the children of incarcerated parents Bill of Rights a reality
  • Increase understanding of the role that philanthropy can play in addressing the needs of children of incarcerated parents.


Carol F. Burton, Co-Chair of ACCIPP and CEO of JEWELD Legacy Group

Crystallee Crain, PhD, Coordinator of San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (SFCIPP)

Armondo DePina, Parent Advocate, ACCIPP Member, PCAG Co-facilitator, A Better Way

LeeAnna Howell, Parent Advocate, ACCIPP Member, PCAG Co-facilitator, A Better Way

Katie Kramer, MSW, MPH, The Bridging Group

Amy Price, MPA, Program Executive, Zellerbach Family Foundation

Zoe Willmott, Project WHAT! Program Manager, Community Works West 

Cecilia Galeano, Youth Presenter


City of San Francisco Department of Children Youth and Family 

East Bay Community Foundation

Rosenberg Foundation

Zellerbach Family Foundation

Targeted Audience

This program is open to all NCG members and non-member funders. If you are a grantmaker, but not a member of NCG, please register by emailing

 Funders interested in education, youth, early childhood, child welfare system, mental health, public health and criminal justice are encouraged to attend.