Kim’s 22 year-old son faces 35 years to life for sexual offenses, while she struggles with feelings of guilt and helplessness.
One Mother’s Voice: In the Name of Justice” (OMV) podcast has moved to SoundCloud, where you can find a selection of previous episodes.
I am the mother of a now-deceased son who spent too many years lost to the streets and New York State prisons.
Those were hard years for me. I did not fully understand the impact of his incarceration on me until many years later. Emotionally numb most of the time, I constantly battled anxiety, fear, helplessness, and worry. All that ended with his death in prison in 1999.
Consequently, I know firsthand how scary having a son in prison can be. Most mothers simply don’t know how to deal with their feelings, the prison system, or the ordeals of their incarcerated sons.
Most mothers have limited resources to hire lawyers or little power to challenge decisions that often lead to hardship for the family (such as relocating inmates without notice to families or warehousing them long distances from their communities).
If there are allegations of mistreatment or abuse, most mothers feel helpless to do anything about it.
Understanding these realities, I use my experiences and my voice to support, educate, and empower mothers with sons in prison.
No mother has to suffer in silence or isolation. You have a platform with One Mother’s Voice: In the Name of Justice.
Top Five OMV Episodes for 2017
Between 2015 and 2017, we uploaded 41 episodes, including “Inmates: Prisoners of Corporate Money-makers;” “Prisoner Health (S)care: from bad to worse;” “The Sorry State of the Public Defender System;” and “Criminal Justice Money Traps.”
- A Tribute to Venida Browder
- Six Criminal Justice “Must Reads”
- End Solitary Confinement for Kids
- Island in the River
- Mother of Inmates Suffer in Silence
Best Criminal Justice News
The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice will open on April 26, 2018 in Montgomery, Alabama (at different locations). The Museum is housed on a site where former slaves were sold; the Memorial commemorates 4400 lynchings (between 1877 and 1950) documented by the EJI.
Bryan Stevenson, executive director for the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), says that the Museum will feature first-hand accounts of enslaved people; compelling visuals, and fine art pieces from renowned African-American sculptors, Titus Kaphar and Sandford Biggers. Stevenson is the award-winning author of the New York Times‘ bestseller, No Equal Justice, and a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Prize.
Worst Criminal Justice News
In December 2017, Erica Garner, 27, daughter of Eric Garner, fell into a coma and died. Her father died from a choke-hold at the hands of New York City police officers in 2014 after they confronted him about selling loose cigarettes in front of a Staten Island convenience store.
In the aftermath of his death, Erica became a vocal critic of police brutality. Sadly, we lost a dynamic, outspoken advocate for social and criminal justice too soon.
Outreach is the focus of our efforts for 2018. To that end, OMV is launching “Heart-to-Heart,” a series of talks at local churches and organizations in Las Vegas about mass incarceration and its impact on families and communities.
Likewise, we are seeking mothers with sons in prison to share their experiences on the podcast.
Some upcoming topics that we will explore are:
- The health implications for mothers with sons in prison
- The stigma of having a son in prison
- Mothers who became criminal justice advocates (Mattie L. Humphrey, Sherry Grace, Rhonda Robinson, and Venida Browder)
If you are a mom with a son in prison, contact me @firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we approach 2018, I am excited to announce my new venture, the “Heart-to-Heart Speaking Tour” for churches in the Las Vegas area titled, “Mass Incarceration and its Effects on Families and Communities.”
The goal is to encourage churches to advocate for criminal justice reform and/or to consider a ministry to support/mentor those in jail or prison, on parole or probation, or families with a loved one involved in the justice system.
As the mother of a now-deceased son who spent much of his adult life in New York State prisons and the grandmother of three grandsons currently in custody, I know the huge impact incarceration can have on families.
For too many years, I felt helpless and hopeless about my son’s incarceration.
Other mothers should not have to face these feelings alone; hence, my mission to support, educate, and empower mothers.
To promote equal justice in America, those most affected by failed criminal justice policies should have a voice in any reforms. This should include the mothers of inmates.
Through One Mother’s Voice: In the Name of Justice, I will continue my outreach to the thousands of mothers with sons in prison.
To that end, we are developing a revised format for 2018 that will include interviews with mothers who can give voice and witness to the collateral damage of incarceration for families.
If you would like to share your story, contact email@example.com.