Children of the Incarcerated: All Alone

Nancy Goldstein has a new article on the forgotten and left behind children of the incarcerated - undeserving casualites of the War on Drugs.

The surge in the US prison population has nothing to do with an increase in violent crime: homicide, rape, robbery, and assault have all declined steadily since 1993. Its source is the so-called “war on drugs,” which cost taxpayers a cool 12 billion in 2004 alone, and has done nothing to reduce illegal drug use or availability.

....the number of women incarcerated in state facilities for drug-related offenses rose by 888% between 1986 and 1999, far outpacing the number of men imprisoned for similar crimes.

Goldstein's article is a review of journalist Nell Bernstein’s new book, All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated.

[It] documents the endless — and fruitless — cycle of crime and punishment that the mandatory drug sentencing laws of the past three decades have set into motion, and their devastating effect on the very children, families, and communities that they were allegedly created to protect.

All Alone in the World reads as a compelling mixture of damage assessment and blueprint for the future. Using first-hand stories derived from dozens of interviews with children of incarcerated parents, Bernstein critiques policies around arrest, sentencing, visiting, foster care, reentry, and legacy.

What kind of world is it where children are made to pay for the crimes of their parents? It's our world, and it's time to do something about it.

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    Re: Children of the Incarcerated: All Alone (none / 0) (#1)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:56 PM EST
    Legalize it.

    Re: Children of the Incarcerated: All Alone (none / 0) (#2)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:56 PM EST
    If you want to hear about the insanity of our drug laws and the effects on children of imprisoning their parents, listen to the story of Dorothy Gaines. This audio file can be found at This American Life (go to 1999 archive, 10/22, Episode 143, Sentencing).

    Re: Children of the Incarcerated: All Alone (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:56 PM EST
    this is the natural result of allowing sheeple to dictate national policy.