An incarcerated parent is still the child’s parent. In many cases, a child has a legal right and an emotional need to remain in contact with the parent in prison. It’s important to understand the needs of the child may be different from the custodial parent’s needs regarding contact with the incarcerated parent. Before a child visits the parent in jail or prison, the custodial parent should talk to the child about what to expect. After the visit, the child should be encouraged to talk openly about thoughts and feelings regarding the visit, and the custodial parent should respond sensitively.