Incarcerated Groups / Reentry
Child support programs work with our partners to help parents who are incarcerated or returning to their communities. Fundamental fairness and access to justice are critical to effective child support enforcement. Child support is a legal obligation. When child support procedures are clear, realistic, and fair, parents are more likely to make reliable support payments that their children can count on.
If you would like to do more to help incarcerated parents with their child support, contact your local correctional institutions, including jails and state or federal prisons.
- Federal prisons have a Reentry Affairs Coordinator (RAC) who can help.
- Provide the Bureau of Prison’s case management staff with one of these documents:
- a copy of the court order or judgment ordering child support
- a letter from a state child support enforcement unit that explains the inmate’s obligation
- Ensure obligations become part of the Bureau of Prison’s Financial Responsibility Program.
Strategies for child support staff:
- Visit correctional facilities or station a staff person at the prison to meet individually with inmates.
- Produce videos or other materials to share with incarcerated parents.
- Offer modification materials to incarcerated parents.
- Help parents complete the required paperwork.
- Offer child support assistance at sentencing, prison intake, or pre-release.
- Work with reentry organizations to provide child support information or help.
- Guide to Changing a Child Support Order (PDF) – information to help parents understand the child support review and modification process
- 54 State Guides on How to Change a Child Support Order – an interactive map to get information about how to change a child support order in your state
Activities that increase the regular payments of current child support and prevent and reduce arrears
- Realistic Child Support Orders for Incarcerated Parents
- "Voluntary Unemployment," Imputed Income, and Modification Policies for Incarcerated NCPs Chart
- Child Support Collaboration with Federal Criminal Justice Agencies
- Medicaid Guidance (PDF)
- Report on the Importance of Medicaid Coverage for Justice-Involved Populations (PDF)
- Roadmap to Reentry (PDF)
- Protecting Credit While Incarcerated (PDF)
Some tools to help parents with the changes children are going through:
Infographic displays the cost-benefit difference between providing job services and jail