Too young to understand, but old enough to suffer:
"They're losing their parent in those critical years of child development, and so there are some long-standing impacts," he says. "It can increase a child's mental-health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and it can hamper educational achievement in that child."
Bell says even the simplest of things such as talking to a parent over the phone can be cost prohibitive for families. "It's incredibly costly for kids and families to have telephone calls with an incarcerated parent," says Bell. "And that makes it really challenging for them to stay in touch with that parent."
That phone problem might seem trifling to those of you who are lucky enough to have not experienced it, but those incremental fees do add up. But it's also indicative of the entire legal process. It may be months before an actual court date, but if you can't come up with 10% of the bond some judge has decided is "fair," you're stuck in jail, unable to see your family except via a television screen (if you're lucky), and of course unable to work and provide for said family. The entire system, from the time of arrest to the end of probation, is filled with unequal treatment based on your ability to produce dollars upon demand. It's not supposed to be like that.