"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love
and be loved in return"
Civil Rights Attorney
When a parent goes to prison, the children do hard time. Imprisonment of a parent has a profound and life-long impact on the children left behind;an impact that society must recognize and address. This is the message of a luminous documentary-in-progress, The Word is Love, by Marika Turano. The facts about the children of parents behind bars are stark—nationwide, over 8 million children have at least one parent under criminal justice supervision. Over 77% of incarcerated women were the primary caretakers of their children prior to their arrest. The number of federally-funded programs designed to address the special needs of such children is zero. But the stars of the film are the children themselves, who relate stories of watching their mother’s arrested, visiting their parents in prison,and trying to maintain a family amid an institution that designed to punish and warehouse, rather than rehabilitate. This important film is deserving of the widest possible support. We simply cannot afford to lose another generation.
Just went to visit someone at Fishkill prison in New York State. New York state prisons are built so that prisoners cannot get visitors. Most of the prisoners are from downstate and may of the prisons are within 30 miles of the Canadian border. I briefly talked to an uncle who was there with a young very excited boy. The uncle said his brother had been up near Canada for almost two years and it was almost impossible to visit regularly with his nephew. At least Fishkill was close. He hoped it wasn't a temporary move. This is an important movie that you are making.
Every story, experience, feeling and emotion is different but we share one common ground ...... The Word Is Love by Marika Turano! It is unfortunate that more than 2.7 million children in the US have an incarcerated parent and approximately 10 million children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives . More unfortunate is that my children are part of this statistic! For 20+ years we are still awaiting for Jose’s freedom! Being part of the Word Is Love is a true blessing, like many other families in this documentary our children, family members and ourselves have been on an emotional roller coaster awaiting to get off the ride. So many of our children have a story to tell and NO ONE is listening! Marika has been working hard on bringing this issue to light, giving families like ours a platform to share our stories! She has planted the seed and we will continue watering until it completely blossoms. Thank you Marika for your dedication, commitment and continued support! Like Jose stated, "Thank you for simply being you!"
 The Pew Charitable Trusts: Pew Center on the States (2010). Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility. Washington, DC: Author
With the primaries coming to a close next month, we must demand our next president to take a look at the human casualties of the current criminal justice policies. These casualties are not only the men and women who find themselves behind bars but the friends, families and CHILDREN that are left behind. It's so refreshing to hear the voice of the children telling the story of one the most damaging and still abundant stains on this country.