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OUR COMMON GROUND SPECIAL: Managing the Family - Prison Crisis: How Much Should Children See ?

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OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham

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Guest, Co-Host, Dr. Debra Napier, PhD
Live and Call-In
Friday, December 17, 2010
8 - 10 pm ET


CHILDREN AND OUR IMPRISONED FAMILY


The dilemma is simple but so complex. So many children live in families where a Father, Mother, Uncles and other family members are incarcerated in a prison and jail. How much of that fact should, especially small children, know and see about incarceration ? When Black children visit places of incarceration, what are the messages, what are they learning and what are they internalizing ? How does it affect their sense of "being Black" where it seems that "Black" may very be "very bad".
Should we require some new configuration of visiting for children? Private conditions, children being away from obnoxious others, including visitors? Our young children share a family's pain when coping with incarceration and law offenses. Should they be exposed to the possibility that a prison is a mirror ? What is the balance in dealing with incarcerated family members ?
What should public policy address regarding this issue ? What are some probable solutions to the issue of protecting children and family unification ? How can technology be used to address this issue ? Should the solutions/policy/rules be crime type specific ?

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