April 25, 2016

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation states more than 5 million children in the United States have had a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives, including 52,000 kids in New Mexico.

That’s 10 percent of New Mexico’s child population and higher than the national average of 7 percent.

Veronica Garcia with New Mexico Voice for Children says having a parent incarcerated can have long- lasting effects on a child’s development and well-being.

“The impact on children in terms of increasing instability, increasing poverty—not to mention the emotional impacts on these children can be devastating,” she said.

Garcia says she would like to see New Mexico implement more rehabilitation type programs for nonviolent offenders instead of putting them in prison.

Garcia also says it can be expensive for parents who are in jail to call their kids, and she would like the state to use technology like Skype to make it more affordable for parents to stay in contact with their children.

Copyright 2016, KOB TV 4