Fighting The Prison System Means Supporting Children Impacted By Parent Incarceration, Too

kingston pen visiting area for those in jail
Zain Murdock
November 1, 2022

What happens to children when their parents get incarcerated? The New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents urges us to consider the answer to that question year-round. October is a month of national awareness and support: See Us, Support Us. 

And for Black children, a month like this is crucial.

According to Pediatrics Nationwide, "If having an incarcerated parent was classified as a chronic health condition, it would be the second most prevalent chronic condition in the United States." 

And while 1 in 14 American children experience parental incarceration today, the number heightens for Black American children to 1 in 4.

"Though it seems lifetimes past, the pain of missing my father and experiencing my life unraveling will never leave me," wrote advocate Alyssa Tamboura. "Even though I grew older, I felt like I was stuck as that little girl outside of her classroom crying because her father wasn't coming home."

But all isn't lost. From children's books like Mariame Kaba's "Missing Daddy," to community-led initiatives like See Us Support Us, foundations for support are already here and open for growth. 

Abolition is the future Black children deserve. But until we abolish the prison system, we can still work together to uplift families impacted by incarceration. No more shame and isolation. Only community and love.

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