For many of us, family is very important to us and our success in life. The same goes for individuals who have been incarcerated. Family plays a vital role in every step of the incarceration process. If a family is supportive of an inmate, they are more likely to have a more fruitful experience in prison. Additionally, having family to support an inmate when they are released helps tremendously in reentry process. It is far easier to become a productive member of society when you have family who can help you with a place to stay, food to eat, accountability in the job search, and finding other resources. Many people get out of prison with no family and no one to help them. They are left to fend for themselves in a world that is not the same world they left when they were incarcerated.
On the other hand, family and family structure is greatly affected by mass incarceration. Families can be torn apart when an individual is incarcerated. The relationships loose trust and it is hard to repair them.