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Family members of incarcerated people are often faced with financial, social and emotional costs related to the imprisonment of their loved ones. These costs can be conceptualized as investments both in the sustenance of personal relationships and in a greater social good in the form of assisting with the reintegration of former prisoners. In this article, we draw upon data from a mixed-methods study to elucidate the costs of detention on families of prisoners. We demonstrate that financial, social and emotional costs associated with imprisonment of a family member are interrelated and often compound each other, indicating the importance of addressing them in a holistic framework.

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