Posts Tagged ‘Children’
Elaine Leeder’s book Inside and Out: Women, Prison, and Therapy takes a look at the growing problem of female incarceration. Leeder’s uses her feminist perspective to dispel stereotypes about women offenders. The book also includes an in-depth analysis of how violence has affected women and led to increased criminality.
Inside and Out: Women, Prison, and Therapy can be purchased on Amazon.com.
The Children’s Prison Art Project is an innovative organization whose mission is to
introduce juvenile offenders in correctional facilities and shelters to an innovative educational theater and visual arts forum where they can express their thoughts and visions in constructive ways.
They currently have an art exhibition at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Visit their website to see some of the art and to learn more about this organization.
Nell Bernstein’s journalistic book, All Alone in the World: Children of Incarcerated takes the reader into the lives of children whose parents have gone to prison in the United States. The stories are heart-wrenching and are rarely heard. The book can be found on Amazon.com.
A new report by the US Department of Justice states that juvenile facilities in New York have been found to have used excessive force to discipline residents. A report from 2006 by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union rated New York youth centers some of the worst in the world. Will the federal government have to take over New York state’s juvenile justice system? Read more in today’s New York Times article.
Check out this documentary about young kids who have had to adapt to living in prison with other cell-mates who have committed more serious crimes. Juvenile incarceration is a serious issue and quite often contentious. Write in your thoughts on this topic.
Eyewitness news 5 reports a program in which kids enter jail in order to experience and see the jail for themselves.
Donnie Belcher grew up as a girl without a mother. At the young age of 4, Donnie was forced to live with her grandmother because her mother was incarcerated for armed robbery, which may have been fueled by her addication to crack-coaine. This is not a rare scenario. Growing up with a mother in prison is more and more common each year. Because of the increasing number of children growing up without mothers, some prisons have actually begun to create programs that help bring mothers and their chldren closer together while behind bars.
Read the special report by the US Department of Justice on incarcerated parents.
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility has a children’s center, set up so women prisoners can interact with their children. This episode of Blog Talk Radio’s Family Life Behind Bars station interviews Bobby Blanchard, the Director of The Children’s Center at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
Being a father behind bars is challenging. Its often hard to stay in contact, let alone form a close relationship. One dad in prison has written up a list of tips for other fathers. Here are the first 5 tips:
- Even if your relationship with the mother of your children is over, you need to establish and maintain a positive relationship with her. For the sake of your children try to find ways to connect with her respectfully.
- Don’t expect big changes right away from your family members. Take your time.
- Find out about policies regarding how you can connect with your child-visitation, letters, telephone calls, audio tapes, etc. Ask your prison chaplain, counselor or other staff.
- Develop a plan and follow it on how often you will connect with your child.
- When explaining to your children why you are not living with them, be honest but respect their ability to understand it according to their age.
Check out the full list here.
And check out the Families and Corrections Network – an organization that focuses on the needs and concerns of families of prisoners: http://www.fcnetwork.org
Community-based supervision organizations can be very effective in reducing the use of detention and custodial placement for youth in the criminal justice system. A very impressive example of this work is the Center for Community Alternatives, serving New York City, Kings County, and Syracuse, NY.
The CCA accepts referrals at any stage in the juvenile/criminal justice process: bail, plea, sentence and disposition. They provide court advocacy for youth that includes the development of a client-specific plan as an alternative to detention. This plan is based on a review of the case and an investigation of the case using interviews with the youth, relevant family members and others.
When a young person enters the program, CCA works with them and with and their parents to stabilize their family life, to establish safe and appropriate housing, to arrange reentry to school and to ensure their health needs are being met.