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February 27, 2007

Re: Mothers in Prison

Allalone For more about this tragic phenomenon, Nell Bernstein gives a compelling look at prison through the eyes of America's children. She offers a few more facts about the "by-products" of our criminal justice's "tough on crime" stance:

  • One in thirty-three American children—and nearly one in eight African American children—will go to sleep tonight denied access to a parent’s embrace, because that parent is incarcerated.
  • According to one study, 70 percent of children present at their parent’s arrest watched their parent being handcuffed and nearly 30 percent saw drawn weapons.

  • Almost two-thirds of children being raised by single grandmothers live in poverty—this is partly due to exorbitant phone charges, cost of travel and lodging for prison visits, over-priced vending machines in the visiting rooms, and money for commissary items.

  • Children who have the "luxury" of visiting their parents in prison are frequently subjected to long lines, humiliating searches, noisy visiting rooms, and limited access to food.

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If the child's parent is a murderer, rapist, batterer, or drug dealer, then isn't that child better off without them? I do not blame the system for the child having to go without their parent - I blame the parent for their actions and poor judgement.

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