children of incarcerated

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.

Daniel Arauz via Flickr

More than 2 million children across the country have at least one parent behind bars. Sixteen-year-old Kmani Baxter is one of them.

“It didn’t dawn on me that it had been 13 years since I seen him,” says Baxter. “I ain’t hug my dad since I was three or four. I haven’t touched my dad since I was four years old.”