Understanding the legal challenges facing parents post-incarceration.
This is Hell Podcast
March 11th, 2017
The thinking is – if you were a good mother, you would not have broken the law and gone to prison and risked being separated from your child. We don’t have this thinking about fathers because we often don’t think of incarcerated fathers, because of the ways in which we gender parenting, and the way support systems happen for mothers and fathers who go to prison.
Journalist Victoria Law examines the intersection of mass incarceration and child custody laws – from the Clinton-era law that stripped the most vulnerable parents of their custodian rights, to the class-based barriers preventing poor parents from engaging with the legal system – and explains how legal punishments extend beyond prison sentences, into children’s lives.
Victoria Law is a writer, photographer and mother. After a brief stint as a teenage armed robber, she became involved in prisoner support. In 1996, she helped start Books Through Bars-New York City, a group that sends free books to prisoners nationwide. In 2000, she began concentrating on the needs and actions of women in prison, drawing attention to their issues by writing articles and giving public presentations. Since 2002, she has worked with women incarcerated nationwide to produce “Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison” and has facilitated having incarcerated women’s writings published in larger publications. She is the coeditor of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities.