Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Crime's Invisible Victims

Here's a link to the Chicago Reporter, a periodical produced by the Community Renewal Society. The article is entitled Uncounted and Unseen, about the tragic consequences to children when parents are incarcerated. It really affirms the importance of what we are trying to do at Breakthrough to minister to men and women when they come out of prison, so that they don't ever go back. Lots of kids are counting on us to be there for their parents.
Children need wraparound services from time of arrest through the sentencing and the incarceration period. As one of the incarcerated parents put it, "When you sentence the parents to three years, five years and life, … the child has been sentenced, also." As the number of people in our prisons rises, so does the number of children left behind, creating a population far more likely - some estimates go as high as 70 percent - to end up in prison themselves. More often than not, these young people, who are overwhelmingly poor and black or Hispanic - and their caregivers lack access to the resources that could keep them out of the system.

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