A Family Locked Apart
In a nation where nearly three million children have at least one parent in jail, three Washington, D.C. brothers and their father talk about life with a mother behind bars.
More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent and approximately 10 million children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives. According to the Urban Institute, the experience of a parent going to prison will have a “significant impact on the emotional, psychological, developmental, and financial well-being of the child.” Children have difficulty visiting their parents and often lose contact. They drop out of school more frequently and are more likely to be incarcerated than their peers. Most often, these children are minorities: Black children are seven times more likely than white children to have an incarcerated parent. Separation due to a parent’s incarceration can be as painful as other forms of parental loss and can be even more complicated because of the stigma, ambiguity, and lack of social support and compassion that accompanies it.
William Koger lives in Washington, D.C., with his mother, Sandra, and three boys: Isaiah, 11, …
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial