Childhood That Matters


May 8, 2019

“She can’t take care of me in the morning, she can’t take me to school, she doesn’t go to my meetings, or speak with the teachers. Almost everything. She doesn’t comb my hair, she doesn’t take care of me, she doesn’t hug me.”
– Les, 9 years old, Mexico

A new regional study by CWS, Childhood That Matters: The impact of drug policy on children of incarcerated parents in Latin America and the Caribbean offers answers to a variety of questions through the voices of 70 girls and boys with incarcerated parents, as well as those of their caretakers. This study offers tools that may be useful for organizations working with children, attempting to influence drug policy in the region and creating or implementing public policies related to the rights of children, incarceration and drug legislation.

This study updates the estimate and finds that between 1,710,980 and 2,307,048 children in the 25 countries in the region have at least one parent in prison. Of these children, between 359,305 and 484,480 have parents incarcerated specifically for drug crimes — a trend that, without profound and timely changes, will continue to increase.

Download our regional study to learn more.