Daddy Loves You: The Challenge of Fatherhood and Incarceration

Daddy Loves You: The Challenge of Fatherhood and Incarceration


According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2007, America’s prisons held about 744,200 fathers. In 2010 it was estimated that there were 2.7 million minor children with an incarcerated parent in the United States and that at least 10 million children have experienced parental incarceration in their lifetimes.

For incarcerated parents, Father’s Day can be bittersweet. With a lack of regular access to their children, many fathers miss out on the milestones and formative moments that make up young lives. In a system that already undermines one’s humanity by design, this distancing impacts family bonds and creates emotional turmoil for parents and children.

One of our I-CAN participants, Jaime, expressed these feelings through art. The following poem, included our Voices of Fortune publication, powerfully demonstrates Jaime’s yearning to return to his young daughter, Ania:

Daddy Loves You

Daddy Loves You
Ania, Daddy loves you.
And Daddy cares…
Daddy misses you, and
I’m wishing I can be there
Not only to hold you,
but, to shower you with
love and joy.
My beautiful baby girl,
My sweet bundle of joy
Soon Daddy will be
Love you.

This Father’s Day, we celebrate the love of those currently behind bars, as well as those returning to the community and rebuilding connections with their children.

A participant and father at The Fortune Society, interacting with his daughter.

For more, learn about how our Family Services program works to reunite families and address parenting challenges, and discover how you can help fathers like Jaime.

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