Women

JS Blog Post June 30, 2015

Let Our Families Have a Future: A mother's story #1

Theresa Martinez
In this, the first of a four part video series, Theresa Martinez of Justice Now relates the story of her twenty-three years of incarceration in both youth and adult facilities, and her separation from her daughter. Listen in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPehSdIt9Tw
JS Blog Post June 12, 2015

A Family Locked Apart

Gabriela Bulisova
Three Washington, D.C. brothers and their father share the struggle they face due to the mother's incarceration. This video paints a vivid picture of how the prison industrial complex damages family integrity but their vibrancy shines on. Here is the link to A Family Locked Apart: http://narrative.ly/incarceration-nation/a-family-locked-apart/
JS Blog Post May 11, 2015

They took her child away

Sharda Sekaran

Dear Patricia,


You won’t believe the story of Shona Banda. Let me tell you, I didn’t at first.
Shona lives in Kansas and uses medical marijuana to treat her Crohn’s disease, a chronic condition that causes her debilitating pain. Medical marijuana is the only treatment that relieves her symptoms.


Last month, her 11-year-old was forced to sit through a long D.A.R.E. propaganda seminar, where he was told marijuana has no medical benefit — completely contrary to established science. So he spoke up. He made it known to his classmates that medical marijuana was helping his mother battle a debilitating disease. What happened next is terrifying.

The school called the police, who then held and questioned him at school. Then Shona’s house was searched, her medicine seized, and her son was taken away.

This all happened in Kansas, just one state over from Colorado, where marijuana is legally bought and sold every day. We cannot let this stand.

Please TAKE ACTION! Follow the link below:

http://stand-with-shona.action.drugpolicy.org/?source=1F5ZZZZZZZ4/#primary_form

Sign the petition to the county attorney keeping Shona from her son – tell her to drop the case immediately! Read more »

JS Publication March 27, 2015

Prioritizing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents in New York State

In this policy memorandum, Senior Justice Strategies Research Analyst, Patricia Allard offers suggested changes to New York State law that can help mitigate the negative impacts of parental involvement with the criminal justice system on their children.  These changes would help preserve family integrity by promoting alternatives to parental incarceration, provide for enhancing sentencing reports to courts, and other supports that could help these NYS families thrive.

JS Blog Post March 3, 2015

Women Behind Bar: By the Numbers, ABC News Special 2020, Diane Sawyer

Patricia Allard

Diane Sawyer goes into prison over night and speaks with several women about their experience in prison, as well as why they are there. “Most of the women are mothers. 1 in 25 is pregnant when she goes in. Women are the fastest growing group of prisoners in the U.S. compared to men. 63% are jailed for non-violent crimes. 11.1% are in for murder.” [Women Behind Bar: By the Numbers, ABC News Special 2020] Most of the women to whom Sawyer speaks openly discuss how their children have been left behind. Read more »

JS Blog Post January 20, 2015

Third post - Hill Briefing on Prioritizing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents in the USA - Wednesday, September 4, 2014, Washington, D.C.

Patricia Allard

In this presentation to Hill staffers, Patricia Allard lays out opportunities for improvement. With a three-prong recommendation, Pat explores how we can begin to mitigate the impact of parental incarceration on children. Please stay tuned for more segments of this timely Hill briefing.

JS Blog Post January 12, 2015

Second post - Hill Briefing on Prioritizing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents in the USA - Wednesday, September 4, 2014, Washington, D.C.

Patricia Allard

Charles Dalton Telschow performed a moving spoken word piece on September 4, 2014 during the Hill Briefing about prioritizing the needs of children of incarcerated parents. This original piece speaks volumes about the devastating impact of mass incarceration. Stay tuned for more presentations.
 

JS Blog Post November 14, 2014

Why Mother-Child Alternatives to Incarceration Are Vital

Gail Smith

Have you ever seen a toddler suddenly separated from the mother? A tiny tot, whose mother set her down for a moment, put her arms around the legs of a nearby shopper in a crowded store, only to look up and realize she had the wrong woman. Panic quickly set in; the reaction was not only “Where’s my mom?” but a piercing wail that said, “I’m gonna die!” The mom quickly picked up her child, who was soon soothed. The cause of that panic is based in one of our most basic human experiences: bonding and attachment.

Every baby needs at least one solid attachment that they can count on. Attachment takes place through a stress and stress-reduction cycle. Babies get hungry and they let us know by crying. The primary caregiver, usually the mother, feeds the baby and the baby learns to trust that the mom will be there to provide sustenance and comfort. Without someone there to feed them reliably, babies in fact would die. This first experience of learning to trust someone forms the basis for all of our later relationships, our sense of self, and our capacity to function in the world without undue anxiety. Mother-child bonding is most critical in the first six months of a baby’s life, and continues until the child is about age six. Read more »

JS Blog Post October 8, 2014

Art for Change

Caitlin Gibb

A Lewis Cunningham describes himself as the visionary half of his artwork.  He receives messages and images from beyond (sometimes while driving along the Westside Highway in NYC), and then finds artists to put paint to canvas and bring those images to life.  I came across this piece of his at the 2013 Arts to End Violence tent at the Kingston Avenue Street Fair in NYC, and I believe its essence has been with me on a cellular level ever since.  Powerful art will do that to you. A little over a year later, I sat down to chat with him about the what’s-what and who’s-who of this poignant work. Read more »

JS Publication October 8, 2014

For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families

In this joint report by Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies, we review the history of charges of sexual abuse and neglect of children, indifference to medical needs, inadequate and unsanitary food, and brutal treatment by staff, levied in lawsuits, government investigations, and allegations by those held in family detention facilities operated by private, for-profit, prison corporations.  These same corporations are now being contracted by the federal government to detain refugee families arriving at our southern border after fleeing the violence in Central America.

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