Campaign Goals

More than a quarter of women in the United States have had a loved one incarcerated. For Black women like Kristal, it's closer to half. Supporting someone inside is an act of caregiving that shapes nearly every facet of life, from the financial burdens of paying for expensive phone calls to the emotional challenges of parenting across distance. To love someone locked up isn't a marginal experience – it's an American one. Yet so often, families go through this experience isolated and in silence.

A Woman on the Outside has sparked conversations across the country about the experiences widely shared by women. You can keep the dialogue going by hosting a screening, purchasing a license for your school, library, or community group, and tapping into the resources below.

The goal of the film’s social impact campaign is to uplift and empower justice-impacted families through these goals:
  • Organizing Tool: Support the work of organizations leading campaigns to improve the lives of currently and formerly incarcerated parents, their children, and women on the outside.
  • Trauma-Informed Social Work: Educate current and future social workers on a trauma-informed approach that centers the needs of children of incarcerated parents.
  • Combat myths about incarcerated parents: Dismantling conscious and unconscious biases against incarcerated parents can help maintain much-needed kinship networks within families and can minimize social stigma.
The campaign is an opportunity to strengthen our movements and society by centering incarcerated and formerly incarcerated parents, their children, and the organizations and government entities that support and ensure that justice-impacted families feel held, heard, and seen as loving the families they are. 

Calls to Action


Host a screening

  • Go here to request to host a screening of the film.
  • Go here to purchase the film for your library, educational institution, or organization.
  • Download our Watch Party Toolkit to plan for your upcoming screening [COMING SOON]


  • Sign up here to join our mailing list for updates!

Our Panels

Watch and share our panels centered on justice-impacted families and the social workers working with them.
  • “Caring Collaborations: What Social Workers Can Learn from Families Impacted by Incarceration” [COMING SOON]
  • “Family Ties: Amplifying the Voices of the Children of the Incarcerated” [COMING SOON]

Stats & Facts

Impact of Incarceration on Women on the Outside

  • 1 in 4 women in the U.S. has an incarcerated family member. – Source
  • 86% of women with incarcerated loved ones say that the strain on their emotional and mental health is significant or extreme. – Source
  • Nearly 70% of women with incarcerated loved ones act as primary support for at least one of their incarcerated loved ones. – Source
  • 43% of women with incarcerated loved oens must work more hours, get a different job or turn down an educational opportunity as a result of their loved one’s incarceration. – Source
  • 80% of women with incarcerated loved ones have not physically touched their loved one within the past month, and a quarter have not touched their loved one in over a year. – Source

Children with Parents in Prison Demographics

  • More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent. That is 1 in 28 children. – Source
  • Approximately half of children with incarcerated parents are under ten years old. – Source

Impact of Incarceration on Children

  • Parental incarceration is now recognized as an “adverse childhood experience” (ACE); it is distinguished from other adverse childhood experiences by the unique combination of trauma, shame, and stigma. – Source
  • About 15‐20% of children entering the child welfare system have an incarcerated parent. – Source
  • Incarcerated parents lose their parental rights at a disproportionate rate due to the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), which set strict timelines for initiating the termination of parental rights. 

Impact on Other Caregivers

  • Caregivers of children with parents in prison bear numerous burdens, including stigma and shame associated with having a family member in prison, increased financial strain, physical and emotional stress, and lack of external resources. – Source
  • Most prisons are not accessible by public transportation, restricting child‐parent visits. In some cases, this means children will never visit their parents. – Source
  • Familial incarceration can be characterized as an “ambiguous loss” leading to “disenfranchised grief.” – Source
  • Caring for children who are experiencing the stigma and blame associated with parental incarceration is particularly difficult for caregivers and may be taxing emotionally and physically. – Source


For Women on the Outside



  • Essie Justice Group is a nonprofit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration. Their “Healing to Advocacy Model” brings women together to heal, build collective power, and drive social change.
  • Ten Toes In serves as a Mentorship and Domestic Violence Prevention Program to support, educate, and empower couples during and after incarceration and to educate society about the dynamics of a prison relationship.





  • Adoptee Mentoring Program provides 1:1 personalized support by adoptee mentors who lead, educate, grieve, and build relationships with adoptees ages 12 and up through strengths-based conversations.
  • Girl Scouts Beyond Bars allows girls aged five through 17 to build and maintain familial bonds with justice-involved loved ones and other youth in similar situations. Check your location for participating chapters.
  • How Our Lives Link Altogether (H.O.L.L.A.) is a transformational grassroots youth program providing healing-centered youth organizing training, youth development services, political/cultural/spiritual education, and non-traditional approaches to healing, education, and community relationship building centered grassroots movements learned lessons; we facilitate youth development as a radical healing process of Healing Justice.
  • The National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated (NRCCFI) is the oldest and largest organization in the U.S. focused on children and families of the incarcerated and programs that serve them.
  • We Got Us Now is the nation’s leading nonprofit (501c3) nonpartisan organization advocating for the well-being of children and young adults with incarcerated parents. 


  • Mommy and Daddy in Time Out is a children’s book written by A Woman on the Outside’s film participants, Kristal Bush and Nyvae Scott. It is available for purchase on Amazon.
  • We Got Us Now offers a collection of books on the issue of children of incarcerated parents from directly impacted authors, researchers, and those most interested in putting an end to mass incarceration.




  • Releasing Aging People from Prison (RAPP) is a grassroots advocacy campaign created and led by formerly incarcerated people. We work to end the racist law-and-order policies that have more than doubled the number of elders behind bars over the past 20 years, to expand the use of parole, compassionate release, and clemency, and to end life imprisonment.
  • Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) comprises a growing network of currently incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people (FIP), and their loved ones. 


  • Ronnie’s House offers a downloadable reentry resources app, a 24/7 hotline accessible by phone or text, and reentry coaching.
  • Friend’s Outside Dad’s Back! Academy Program provides comprehensive services for up to 6 months, including activities centered on responsible parenting, healthy marriages, skills building, and an economic stability job preparation program for reentering fathers.
  • The Incarcerated Parents Manual is a guide developed by Legal Services for Prisoners with Children that provides sample forms and other resources for newly incarcerated parents.





Do you have any resources you’d like to suggest for us to add?
Support or donate to the organizations of our Impact Campaign Advisory Board Members: