What is the child support enforcement system? How has it developed?
How has the child support enforcement system become entangled with the carceral system? What are the mechanisms through which parents who fail to pay child support are criminalized?
What are the ways in which the child support enforcement system punishes mothers? How does it surveil, regulate, and control the sexualities of mothers?
Lynne Haney, Prisons of Debt: The Afterlives of Incarcerated Fathers, “Making Men Pay”
Lynne Haney, Prisons of Debt: The Afterlives of Incarcerated Fathers, “Punishing Parents, Creating Criminals”
Eli Hager, “These Single Moms Are Forced to Choose: Reveal Their Sexual Histories or Forfeit Welfare”
Lynne Haney, Prisons of Debt: The Afterlives of Incarcerated Fathers, “The Imprisonment of Debt”
Libby Adler and Janet Halley, Governance Feminism: Notes from the Field, “‘You Play, You Pay’: Feminists and Child Support Enforcement in the United States”
Gwendolyn Mink, Welfare’s End, “Disdained Mothers, Unequal Citizens: Paternity Establishment, Child Support, and the Stratification of Rights”
Cortney Lollar, “Criminalizing (Poor) Fatherhood”
Frances Robles and Shaila Dewan, “Skip Child Support. Go to Jail. Lose Job. Repeat.”
Eli Hager, “For Men in Prison, Child Support Becomes a Crushing Debt”
Yvonne Wenger, “At What Cost? For Baltimore’s Poorest Families, the Child Support System Exacts a Heavy Price — And It’s Hurting Whole Communities”
View the map of Baltimore below. Where is child support debt concentrated? How does this overlap with the poverty and incarceration rate? Consider what this reveals about the nature of the child support enforcement system and who it targets.