The Testimonios of System-Impacted Daughters of Color on Healing from Parental Incarceration

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Angie Belen Monreal


1 in every 25 children in the United States currently has a parent incarcerated in jail or prison. Black and Latinx children make up the majority of this population, as their parents are overrepresented in local jails and state and federal prisons. Parental incarceration affects a child’s behavior, emotional and mental health, social interaction, and financial stability. Daughters of incarcerated parents are particularly affected. This research investigates testimonios (testimonies), a narrative form of counter-storytelling, as a tool to address the traumatic effect of parental incarceration on female children of color. Testimonios give a person agency and allow them to share their unique and nuanced experiences in detail. In-depth interviews demonstrated that testimonios can be an effective healing tool for women who have been impacted by parental incarceration and can improve social service organizations directed towards families affected by incarceration. Testimonios provided space in which daughters of incarcerated parents were able to express their emotions and make sense of their experiences. The interviews also revealed shared themes in the experiences of multiple interviewees. 

Article Details

parental incarceration, Testimonios, Critical Race Theory, Storytelling, Healing, system impacted
How to Cite
Monreal, A. B. (2021). The Testimonios of System-Impacted Daughters of Color on Healing from Parental Incarceration. Columbia Social Work Review, 19(1), 100–115.