When parents are in prison, kids pay the price

Aug 11, 2015
Catherine Girardeau

When someone is imprisoned, it doesn’t just affect the incarcerated. It affects the people left behind. Young people. Nearly three million children in the united states have parents in the criminal justice system – it’s almost 1 in 10 kids in California alone. It can be costly and difficult to visit or call a parent behind bars. And losing a relationship can be traumatic... with lasting consequences. A new art exhibit on Alcatraz Islan, called The Sentence Unseen, examines this reality. KALW’s Catherine Girardeau has the story.

Sandhya Dirks

The dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has become something of a superstar in America. He is known for his provocative artwork, his outspoken critique of Chinese policy, and for his imprisonment by the Chinese government.

Ai has been under house arrest in Beijing since 2011, but that has not stopped him from making work internationally. He just opened a massive and unprecedented installation, @Large, on the former prison island of Alcatraz.

Angela Johnston

The sun is just beginning to rise over the glassy water at San Francisco’s Aquatic Park. Karen Wapato is beaming as she emerges from the Bay and peels off her goggles.

“It was better than yesterday,” she says. “I keep on just telling myself, stay calm don’t panic, keep breathing, try to keep my stroke real smooth, as smooth as I can,” she says as she catches her breath.

Wapato has never swum in the ocean before, and it’s her second day swimming in the San Francisco Bay. 

“I can’t believe I am doing it! I can’t believe I am one of these people that swim in the Bay, I’ve joined this elite group.”

Casey Miner

For a lot of people trying to go to Alcatraz today, the cancelations were just an inconvenience. Sure, they’d come from far away or were leaving town soon, but it was a beautiful day and they said they’d find something else to do. But this isn’t true for Linda Plourde.

Kristina Loring

All week long we've been playing this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

Birding on Alcatraz

Apr 2, 2013
Molly Samuel

Alcatraz Island is famous mainly for one thing: its prison. But it’s also a good place to lay eggs.