IMPACT

How A Parent's Incarceration Mentally And Emotionally Scars Their Children

02/20/2015 04:40 pm ET | Updated Feb 20, 2015

Ifetayo Harvey's father was sentenced to 15 years in prison for cocaine trafficking when she was just 4 years old. Even though he only served half of his sentence, he was subsequently deported to his home country of Jamaica, leaving his daughter without a father figure for the majority of her life.

Harvey joined HuffPost Live host Nancy Redd to discuss how that loss affected her mentally and emotionally, as well as the damage the resulting stigma can do to a person.

"I struggled with depression and feelings of rejection and shame for a long time," Harvey said. "I also had a hard time trusting people for a while. I feared being abandoned by friends or my family because of what happened with my father... To some extent, we all assume things about people based on their familial background, but I think that stigma happens when we take the personhood from the offender. We don't consider the families in the sentencing in our courts, and that's a problem."

Watch the full HuffPost Live clip above to hear more from the conversation.

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