This week, Sesame Workshop announced its newest initiative: Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, which will provide educational resources for caregivers and children impacted by parental incarceration.

As I’ve talked to colleagues and friends about this project and its upcoming release, I’ve been surprised by the reactions. Their responses have ranged from, “Wow, how great that Sesame Street is tackling this issue!” to “Is that really what our world has come to, the Muppets’ parents are now in jail?”

Combined, these reactions summarize important points about this issue. Parental incarceration is a large and growing problem in our country, but it’s a topic that has not garnered much attention from either scientific or media communities, and many people’s initial reactions to the topic are generally negative.

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