Posts Tagged ‘prison’

Mothers in Prison and the Children Left Behind

May 10, 2009

by “Mecca Longwood”

Instructor’s note: This post was originally a presentation done by the author and his mother in class. They have chosen to publish it here under a pseduonym in order to protect the privacy of other family members mentioned. See the end of this post for an account of what happened in class after this honest and moving presentation.

One thing I learned growing up in my household is that women are more likely to be the primary provider for the child; so, when a mother goes to prison, that takes on a whole new meaning, different from fathers in prison. The visits alone could be a terrible experience. You get searched by adults you do not know inside a creepy building, and you have to talk to your mother through a glass on a phone.

I am the one to vouch that when your mom goes away it changes things that may be for the better, but at the time I didn’t see that. My brothers and I were separated in order to lighten the burden from my grandmother and my aunt, which made it harder to stay in touch with them. Things may have been different if mom was around, or maybe this is who I was destined to be from the start, but I have here the women who can give you the hands-on experience from being on the inside of the jail. My mother is here to tell how it can affect the mother as much as the child.

The day you were first arrested, did you think that would be the last time you would have with your children?
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Relationship Behind Bars

November 24, 2008

By Ashley Lowery

Instructor’s note: Ashley wrote this powerful piece in response to the prompt to write a descriptive essay about “a place that shaped you.”

Tom and Jerry, Spiderman, and Batman are all childhood cartoons that I enjoyed; however, I was unable to watch these cartoons on Saturdays. Instead, I was hugging my mother from a jail cell. More than a fourth of Baltimore city mothers are incarcerated. As a result the children are left to be cared for by family members or even the department of social services. By my mother being incarcerated, I only have vivid memories of visiting my mother in different jails. The ordeal of visiting my mother consisted of mentally and physically preparing myself, arriving at the jail and getting searched, and then sitting in a waiting room only to see her through a metal gate for a short period of time; this describes my relationship with my mom.

Deciding on an outfit to wear was a hassle. I had to make sure I didn’t wear any sleeveless shirts or shorts above the knee. (more…)