One in ninety-nine Americans are imprisoned, costing over fifty billion dollars of state funding annually and affecting the lives of more than seven million children.
Yet we know little about the personal and social costs involved. And, specifically, we know even less about the short and long term repercussions of parental incarceration. As a filmmaker, I have seen a great deal of footage documenting life behind bars, the death penalty, drug laws, wrongful conviction and more. However, children of incarcerated parents are seldom included in these films, much less featured as the primary topic. Children of incarcerated parents are innocent victims, caught in a vicious cycle of crime and punishment. Deprived of their parents, they are plunged into danger, trapped in a spiral of social abandonment. While current federal and state laws dealing with drugs and domestic violence do great harm to parents,
they devastate their children.
Our goal is to make children of incarcerated parents visible, for they are seldom seen and to give them voice, for they are rarely, if ever heard.
Can these children connect to love once the bond with a primary caretaker has been broken? How does this damaged bond affect all other relationships? What is the true cost of 7 million ruptured childhoods? We believe our documentary will inform, involve and motivate the viewing audience. The Word Is Love will offer valuable insights from the most authentic source possible…the children themselves. Despite the anger, confusion, resentment, frustration expressed by my subjects, all of them – without exception -say that they love their incarcerated parent. Anyone who has ever loved another knows that sometimes love hurts and is misguided and misdirected. Sometimes love is inspiring and uplifting. But whether it makes sense or not to those around us, whether we make a choice to love, suffer from a lack of love or are just somehow compelled by love’s spell - love, Love, LOVE impacts every human being. My intention is to tell a “love story” about our subjects and the obstacles that they all share.