When a Parent Goes to Jail



A comprehensive guide for counseling children of incarcerated parents
by Rebecca M. Yaffe, M.Ed. and Lonnie F. Hoade, M.Ed. illustrated by Barbara S. Moody
ISBN 978-1-877810-08-4 Hardcover, 48 pages, 8½ x 11, 2000

Statistic: According to the National Association of School Psychologists, there are approximately 1.5 million children in the United States with a parent in prison.
Statistic: Children with parents in prison are five times more likely than the average child to commit crimes and be imprisoned.
Statistic: Experts estimate that by the next decade, one half of all prisoners will be from a family which had a parent in prison.

To many, the situation seems hopeless, but according to professional counselors Lonnie F. Hoade and Rebecca M. Yaffe, there is a way to turn the tide of such depressing statistics.

Their new book, WHEN A PARENT GOES TO JAIL, is a professional resource to help children of incarcerated parents cope with the traumas they face — physical, emotional, and social stigmas and feelings of guilt, anger, fear and shame — and guide them in making wiser life choices than their parents did.

WHEN A PARENT GOES TO JAIL is a comprehensive book that takes a preventive approach when dealing with the symptoms of children under stress and is ideal for use individually or in small groups. (Ages 10-14).


  • Rules, Laws & Consequences
  • Why A Parent Is Arrested
  • The Arrest
  • Where The Police Officers Take Your Parent
  • What Are You Feeling?
  • Feelings & Thoughts About The Parent In Jail
  • Changes At Home
  • Changes At School
  • Visitation
  • Your Parent Comes Home

Juvenile Literature Categories (Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication):

  1. Children of Prisoners
  2. Counseling and Services for Children of Prisoners
  3. Child Psychology
  4. Imprisonment
  5. Prisoners
  6. Prison

Author biographies:

Lonnie F. Hoade holds a B.A. in Psychology from Randolph-Macon Women’s College and an M.Ed. In School Counseling from Lynchburg College in Virginia. She is a guidance counselor with the Lynchburg City Schools and a parent educator with Lynchburg College Parent Education Center. She also has extensive experience in behavior modification with at-risk adolescents and in parent education.

Rebecca M. Yaffe earned a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and an M. Ed. in Counseling from Lynchburg College in Virginia. She taught elementary school for eight years, has been an elementary school counselor for ten years, and a counselor of children whose parents are incarcerated for nine years.


“What a marvelous book! WHEN A PARENT GOES TO JAIL is a timely book that fills a gaping hole on library shelves everywhere. Seemingly, more and more people make bad choices and go to jail. Most have children. And, of course, relatives and new care givers end up taking care of these children. Until this book . . . these natural and foster parents have not had books to read to children that will help them cope with their feelings and the mechanics of their parent’ legal situation . . .. a superbly written book that fills a big void . . . .the right book at the right time.”
Dr. Ken West, Director, Center for
Family Education, Lynchburg College

“. . . there are few quality books and materials available to help children discuss and come to terms with having a parent in jail. . . . a problem that crosses all geographic and socioeconomic boundaries and affects our children’s ability to concentrate and learn. As a result, their grades begin to suffer. The emotions and stress that build up inside them also takes a toll on their physical health. WHEN A PARENT GOES TO JAIL is desperately needed on the bookshelves of our school counselors and school libraries. The flow of the book is such that it allows for group discussion and follows the natural course of emotions experienced by children in the different stages of the criminal process . . . [I] highly recommend its use . . .”
– Shannon Y. Fulcher, Ed. S., Certified School Psychologist, Nelson County Public Schools

“Where was WHEN A PARENT GOES TO JAIL the twenty years I was in public education? I vividly remember my first class, sixth graders, . . . and particularly the young girl so distraught that she could not focus on the day’s work because her father was arrested the night before. That was 1974 and statistics show that the number of incarcerated adults has more than doubled since then. This book could be sued with individual or small groups of children in therapeutic settings but it also has a place on the shelf of every school and public library in America . . . . It will become a ‘regular’ in my graduate classes for training counselors.”
-Linda Grubba, M. Ed., Clinical Professor, School of Education & Human Development, Lynchburg College

Do you have a question or comment for the authors?
Contact Lonnie Hoade at lhoade@aim.com

Additional information

Weight1 lbs
Dimensions11 x 8.5 x .5 in