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All Alone in the World:
Children of the Incarcerated

by Nell Bernstein

ISBN 1565849523 / 9781565849525 / 1-56584-952-3
Publisher New Press
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

An intimate and heartwrenching investigation into the lives of children of imprisoned parents, by an award-winning journalist.

"I think they shouldn't have took my mama to jail&.Give her the opportunity to make up for what she did. Using drugs, she's hurting herself. You take her away from me, now you're hurting me."Terrence, a fifteen-year-old boy left to fend for himself after his mother was imprisoned for nonviolent drug possession

One in ten American children has a parent under criminal justice supervisionincarcerated, on probation, or on parole. One in thirty-three American childrenand one in eight African American childrengoes to sleep without access to a parent because that parent is in jail. Despite these staggering numbers, the children of prisoners remain largely invisible to society.

Following in the tradition of the bestseller Random Family, journalist Nell Bernstein shows, through the deeply moving stories of real families, how the children of the incarcerated are routinely punished for their parents' status: ignored, neglected, stigmatized, and endangered, with minimal effort made to help them cope.

Topics range from children's experiences at the time of their parent's arrest, to laws and policies that force even low-level offenders to forfeit their parental rights, to alternative sanctions that take into account prisoners' status as mothers and fathers.
All Alone in the World defines a crucial aspect of criminal justice and, in doing so, illuminates a critical new realm of human rights. [via]