How Mass Incarceration Robs Black Children Of Their Fathers

Some kids enjoyed having time with their dads on Father’s Day, but others didn’t, all because of the mass incarceration of innocent men.

A recent research by Annie E. Casey Foundation reveals that more than five million children in U.S. have had a parent in jail at some point in time and most of these men incarcerated are people of color.

The mass incarceration of black people has in different ways affected their children growing up.

In most homes, fathers are not just bread winners, but the roots that hold the family together. And when they are imprisoned, the children feel disconnected from them, hence robbing them of their rights to have a father.

The fathers also feel that same pain of not spending time with their children.

Glenn E. Martin, one of the authors writing about the stress and trauma of losing a parent to incarceration, shared his experience he faced with his first child.

I was sent to a prison that was 10 hours away from New York City, where my son and his mother lived. Traveling to see me was difficult and expensive, and I was filled with guilt over the burden visiting me placed on my loved ones. As a result, I saw my son only five times in the six years I was incarcerated”.

While white kids spend time watching their favorite games or tossing a ball with their parents on Father’s Day, thousands of black children roam the streets deprived of their fathers.

Last study shows that black fathers actually are more caring than white fathers, despite American stereotype about “absent black fathers”. This stereotype is mostly promoted by mass imprisonment of black men, who serve their terms for any small crime which could be punished in different way without separating them from their kids. Moreover, many of them spend time behind bars for no crime at all, just due to racist criminal justice system.

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