Columns, Op-Eds, & Interviews

Dispatch From San Quentin: Parenting From Prison

WLA Guest
Written by WLA Guest

This video is part of a series of essays and videos WitnessLA is publishing that are written and/or produced through Re:store Justice‘s FirstWatch project at San Quentin State Prison. With their work, the journalists and filmmakers, who are also San Quentin inmates, aim to, as they put it, explore “the connections, challenges, and intimacies between self, society, and incarceration.”

(You can read some earlier essays in the series here and here.)

A Note About the Video From FirstWatch’s Julie Mai

Our FirstWatch team created & produced this video ENTIRELY FROM WITHIN the walls of San Quentin to shine a light on the traumatic impacts of incarceration on parents & their children.

Our punitive justice system seeks to punish those who commit crimes through separation & detention, but far too often, the cyclical harms remain unaddressed & continue to spread, while the human need for connection remains ever-present.

As covered in this FirstWatch video, Ralph’s incarceration has created trauma for his son, yet the two have a special bond requires love & hard work to preserve & build.

In order to strengthen our communities & repair harms, it’s time that we support practices & people that are working to keep families together. Shoutout to our friends at The Place4Grace, Karen McDaniel & Sutina Green for their work aimed at family reunification, bringing together incarcerated parents & children through literacy projects, education & camps – based on the belief that “families thrive through the liberation of our people.” A true resource for our communities!

Leave a Comment