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Project August 28, 2018

Children of the Incarcerated

Author:
“Each bead means something,” Adrianna says of the bracelet she made me with her mom. “This one,” she says, pointing to the shiniest pink bead, “is supposed to be how much love she has for us because it is so bright." Image by Jaime Joyce for TIME Edge. California, 2018.
“Each bead means something,” Adrianna says of the bracelet she made me with her mom. “This one,” she says, pointing to the shiniest pink bead, “is supposed to be how much love she has for us because it is so bright.' Image by Jaime Joyce for TIME Edge. California, 2018.

More than 2.7 million children in the United States under the age of 18 have a parent in jail or in prison, according to a 2010 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. That's 1 out of every 28 kids.

TIME for Kids and TIME Edge traveled to California to report on two programs of The Center for Restorative Justice Works: Get on the Bus, which takes children on daylong trips throughout the state to spend time with their mothers and fathers in prison, and Camp Suzanne, which brings kids and incarcerated moms together for one week of extended visitation.

"Children of the Incarcerated" offers young readers a window into a complex social issue by bringing them on the bus and into the summer camp to hear from kids their own age about the challenges children and families face when a parent is incarcerated. It also shows children impacted by a parents' incarceration that they are not alone.

This project explores how children and parents can stay connected during a period of incarceration, and what people do to help kids with parents in jail or prison feel safe, protected, and accepted.

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