Crime Families affected by mass incarceration share their stories

15:11  17 april  2018
15:11  17 april  2018 Source:   WLKY Louisville

Families affected by mass incarceration share their stories

  Families affected by mass incarceration share their stories It was an opportunity for family members of those who have been incarcerated to share their deeply personal emotional stories of how they've been impacted by the criminal justice system.  "Stories they have the ability to impact. So you can have almost a spiritual connection when someone is telling a compelling story, especially when emotions are involved," said Trinidad Jackson, one of the panelists.

Source: Bruce Western and Christopher Wildeman, “The Black Family and Mass Incarceration ,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social One of every four African American children born in 1990 had a father go to prison. For children of high school dropouts, the share was one-half.

Healing Communities. A framework for congregations in their ministry to families affected by Statistics also paint a picture of the implications of mass incarceration on the lives of families . One by one, members shared their stories of the incarceration of fathers, sons and grandsons.

It was an opportunity for family members of those who have been incarcerated to share their deeply personal emotional stories of how they've been impacted by the criminal justice system.

"Stories they have the ability to impact. So you can have almost a spiritual connection when someone is telling a compelling story, especially when emotions are involved," said Trinidad Jackson, one of the panelists.

There was no lack of emotion, as each person shared their experience of living with a loved one behind bars.

"With me, with incarceration, there's more starting points than there are end points," said Shameka Parish-Wright, one of the panelist.

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Stories like his are far too common today, forty years after the nation’s prison boom began wreaking Even well-educated black families are disproportionately affected by the incarceration boom. “The effects of mass incarceration on childhood inequality are too large to ignore,” the researchers wrote.

In short, mass incarceration is not only about injustice towards inmates, it is also about the myriad of lives that are affected as a result. What happens to their families ? When such questions are considered, the magnitude of the injustice of mass incarceration and its connection to other forms of

One member of the panel, who had been previously incarcerated, talked about the impact of growing up with incarceration as a societal norm.

a group of people standing in a room © Provided by Hearst Television, Inc.

"Conceptual incarceration, the idea that we think it is okay to be incarcerated because someone else in our family, a father, an uncle, a mother, a sister, has been incarcerated as well. I'm here to tell you it's not OK," said Savvy Shabaz.

The goal is to bring mass story lab to 20 communities, opening a dialogue about the impact mass incarceration has on everyone, not just those behind bars.

"Being involved in social justice work for decades, it slipped right past me, and I know it has gone past a lot of people. Unless, they're directly involved," said Becki Winchel.

Much of the audience admitted to never having dealt firsthand with the criminal justice system, but the hope is that the knowledge gained from the discussion will go beyond the building and shed light on America's prison system.

"So, it's a daily struggle. What kind of trust systems? What kind of resources do we have available for people who are going through this on a daily basis, while at the same time we are trying to work on dismantling the systems?" Jackson asked.

Preceding the event, they had a viewing of the Bill Moyers documentary, "Rikers: An American Jail," at the Speed Art Museum.

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