As I traveled the highways and byways last summer, the biggest impression I got from talking to people was what problem. There is no problem around these issues of mother and children. Then when giving the presentation and rolling out some of the data, it was a sight to see the looks in the eyes as they started to absorb the impact.
There is not one elected politician or member of the criminal justice industrial complex that I have heard or know of having spoken to the issue. Over the years, I have seen less than half a dozen articles in newspapers and magazines on the subject.
I hear first hand accounts of some of the disasters and see so much more fall out as women return to prison. I hear stories of kids being shuttled around the country from one care giver to another. Nobody is gathering data on this because not only is it elusive but to do so would require that someone take action.
Worst of all are the cases of women getting out that have no where to turn to for information and support other than the local drug dealer and pimp. Voices need to be heard be they signed or not. People need to know of the successes as well as the failures.
Women coming out of prison need to have a resource they can turn to so that the can benefit from the success and failures of others so that at a minimum have some reference points and ideas. This has to be one of those deep sole searching so that maybe some will not go back to prison. So that maybe a baby will be able to be united with its mother.
Much pain and suffering is self-inflicted. However, more often than not is a product of ignorance. I may not be able to speak to the issues with the authenticity that y’all can but this commitment I do make to y’all and those that are on the inside.
On a monthly basis, I submit one 800 word paper for publication. I promise to go anywhere that is within reach to speak to the issue of women and children in prison. I will post to this web site anyone’s story without editing or corrections.
The pen is in your hands.