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Mothers in Prison. Children in Crisis.

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THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY A GRANT FROM THE WINTHROP ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION, MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN ARKANSAS.

>> Narrator: THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IMPRISONS MORE PEOPLE THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. OVER 1.9 MILLION MEN AND WOMEN ARE CURRENTLY LOCKED UP IN OUR NATION'S PRISONS AND JAILS. THEY ARE THE INVISIBLE MEMBERSOF AMERICAN SOCIETY WITH INVISIBLE FAMILIES.

>> Inmate: THEY DO NOT SEE US IN HERE. THEY JUST... THEY GET A GLIMPSE OF IT OR THEY THROW US OUT AND THEY FORGET US. YOU KNOW, OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND.

THAT'S NOT HELPING THE STATE. THAT'S NOT HELPING THE WOMEN AND THAT'S NOT HELPING THE CHILDREN OF THE STATE MOST OF ALL.

>> Narrator: AND IT'S A POPULATION GROWING OUT OF CONTROL.

>> Dina Tyler: THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY IN OUR BUDGET TO KEEP UP WITH THE RATE OF GROWTH. WE CAN'T BUILD OUR WAY OUT OF THIS.

>> Narrator: WOMEN ARE NOW THE FASTEST GROWING SEGMENT OF THE PRISON POPULATION, AND THE MAJORITY OF THEM ARE MOTHERS. THEIR CHILDREN ARE MOST LIKELY TO BECOME OUR NEXT GENERATION OF PRISONERS.

>> Kamilah Hayes: GROWING UP WASN'T EXACTLY EASY FOR ME. MY PARENTS HAVE BEEN IN AND OUT OF JAIL OR PRISON MOSTLY MY WHOLE LIFE. STARTING SCHOOL WAS HARDER FOR ME THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD. I HAD TO GO TO SCHOOL KNOWING THAT WHEN I CAME HOME FROM SCHOOL, I WASN'T GOING TO SEE MY MOTHER'S FACE. SO EVERY DAY I CRIED MYSELF TO SLEEP HOPING THAT JUST ONE DAY OUT OF MY LIFE, MY MOTHER WAS GOING TO BE AT HOME WHEN I CAME HOME FROM SCHOOL.

>> Narrator: IN MOST WAYS, KAMILAH HAYES IS AN AVERAGE TEENAGER, BUT BENEATH HER SMILE LIES THE STORY OF A FAMILY WRACKED BY SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND INCARCERATION.

FOR MOST OF HER LIFE, KAMILAH HAS MOVED BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN DIFFERENT FAMILY MEMBERS WHILE HER MOTHER WAS IN PRISON. TODAY SHE LIVES WITH HER GRANDMOTHER, ESTELLA BROWN.

>> Kamilah: I WANTED MY MOMMA THERE. I WANTED MY MOMMA AND MY DADDY TO BE TOGETHER.

I JUST KIND OF HELD IT INSIDE SO PEOPLE WAS LIKE, "OH, KAY'S JUST GOT THE PERFECT LITTLE LIFE." AND I DON'T.

I HAVE IT SO HARD.

I MEAN, I GREW UP ROUGH, A ROUGH CHILDHOOD.

I MEAN, IT WAS NOT EASY FOR ME.

IT WAS HARD.

I WAS STAYING WITH MY GRANDMA AND PEOPLE WERE THREATENING HER, TELLING HER THAT THEY WERE GOING TO PUT US IN A FOSTER HOME, AND IT WAS JUST HARD FOR ME BECAUSE I COULDN'T CONCENTRATE IN SCHOOL. MY GRADES WAS FALLING. AND WITH MY MOM BEING LOCKED UP OR WHATEVER AND ME UNABLE TO TALK TO HER, IT'S LIKE EVERY TIME SOMEBODY TOLD US IT WAS GOING TO BE OKAY AND THINGS WOULD GET BETTER, IT ONLY GOT WORSE.

>> Narrator: KAMILAH ISN'T IN THIS ALONE. IT'S ESTIMATED THAT THERE ARE OVER 40,000 CHILDREN IN ARKANSAS WITH A PARENT IN THE CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM. THE RISE IN THE FEMALE PRISON POPULATION IN AMERICA SHARPENS CONCERN ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN ON THE OUTSIDE.

McPHERSON PRISON IN NEWPORT IS THE ONLY FACILITY IN THE STATE FOR FEMALE INMATES, HOUSING NEARLY 700 WOMEN.

>> Guard: 26,22,26 HUNDRED SECURE MAIN OPEN ONE.

>> Dina Tyler, Arkansas Department of Corrections:

I THINK THAT THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN INCARCERATED ARE AS OBVIOUS AS THE DIFFERENCE OUT ON THE STREET.

THEY ARE TRULY TWO VERY DISTINCT POPULATIONS. MANY OF THESE WOMEN HAVE CHILDREN ON THE OUTSIDE AND A LOT OF THEM WERE ACTIVE MOTHERS, OR AT LEAST AS ACTIVE AS THEY COULD BE AT THAT POINT. AND THEY STILL WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN THOSE CHILDREN'S LIVES.

UNFORTUNATELY, ON THE MALE SIDE, YOU DON'T ALWAYS SEE THAT. A LOT OF TIMES THE MALES MAY HAVE CHILDREN, BUT THEY MAY HAVE BEEN ABSENT FATHERS AND OFTEN TIMES THAT DOESN'T CHANGE WHEN THEY'RE INCARCERATED. BUT WITH THE FEMALES IF YOU'RE A MOM ON THE OUTSIDE, WHEN YOU GET HERE, YOU'RE STILL A MOM. AND OFTEN TIMES YOU ARE TRYING VERY MUCH TO BE A BETTER MOM.

>> Warden Jim Cooksey: WE RANGE HERE AT THE McPHERSON UNIT OF ALL TYPES OF CRIMES IN ARKANSAS FROM WRITING BAD CHECKS ALL THE WAY UP TO MURDER, MURDER ONE.

MY JOB IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE OFFER PROGRAMS AND GET INMATES INVOLVED IN PROGRAMS SO THEY CAN IMPROVE THEIR OUTLOOK ONCE THEY GET OUT. EVEN IF THEY'RE GOING TO BE HERE FOR LIFE, YOU WANT THOSE TYPE OF INMATES ALSO TRYING TO GET INTO PROGRAMS TO CHANGE THEIR ATTITUDE.

SO OUR JOB IS TO TRY TO GET THAT FEMALE BACK OUT TO RAISE HER CHILDREN, TO TRY TO SLOW THEM DOWN FROM COMMITTING CRIMES.

>> Narrator: THE INCREASE OF WOMEN INMATES HAS BOTH THE CORRECTIONS AND CHILD WELFARE SYSTEMS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF INCARCERATION.

ONE OF THE PROGRAMS SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSES THE ISSUES OF PARENTAL INCARCERATION AND TRIES TO STRENGTHEN A MOTHER'S COMMITMENT TO HER CHILDREN WHILE SHE'S INSIDE. THIS IS PARENTING FROM PRISON.

>>Dee Ann Newell: IT IS HARD TO GO HOME TO YOUR CHILDREN AND PICK THOSE PIECES BACK UP BUT THEY NEED YOU. THEY NEED YOU BADLY. AND SO MANY OF YOUR CHILDREN ARE TRULY TRAUMATIZED.

IF YOU WERE ASKED, YOU KNOW, WHAT'S THE MOST TRAUMATIC THING YOU COULD DO TO YOUR CHILD, TO ANY CHILD, IT WOULD BE TO TAKE THEIR PARENT AWAY, THEIR CARE-GIVING PARENT.

I NEED TO TELL YOU A FEW JUST REALITY FACTS.

FIVE TO SIX TIMES GREATER RISK THAT YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE PRISONERS IN THEIR FUTURE BY VIRTUE OF HAVING A PARENT IN PRISON.

BUT THE TRUTH IS IF YOU GO INTO JUVENILE DETENTION AND YOU SAY TO THOSE KIDS, "HOW MANY OF YOU HAD A PARENT IN PRISON?" MORE THAN HALF OF THEM WILL RAISE THEIR HAND.

AND ONE OF THE WONDERFUL WAYS TO INTERVENE AND PREVENT IS TO ADDRESS PARENTS AND ADDRESS PARENTING AND THE VERY SPECIAL ISSUE OF A PARENT WHO'S INCARCERATED. BECAUSE I DO BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO PARTICULAR TO YOUR SITUATION THAT WILL HELP PREVENT YOUR CHILDREN FROM BECOMING THAT FUTURE PRISONER

>> Dee Ann Newell, Centers For Youth and Families: MOST PEOPLE

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THIS WILL SAY, YOU KNOW, "I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT. NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THE CHILDREN OF THE DEFENDANTS, THE CHILDREN OF THE CONVICTED OFFENDER. JUST DIDN'T EVER CROSS MY MIND."

MY STEREOTYPICAL WOMAN IN PRISON WAS A HARD WOMAN, PROBABLY SEEN A LOT, PROBABLY DIDN'T HAVE A LOT OF NURTURING IN HER BECAUSE I PRESUMED THAT PROBABLY SHE WASN'T WELL NURTURED HERSELF. WASN'T TRUE.

YES, THERE'S A HARDNESS I SEE WOMEN DEVELOP IN PRISON THAT IS ALMOST INEVITABLE, BUT THESE ARE NOT HARD PEOPLE.

IT WAS REALLY "STEREOTYPE PUNCTURING" IS WHAT I EXPERIENCED.

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>> Dee Ann: THE TRUTH IS THERE ISN'T A BARRIER BETWEEN US BECAUSE WE'RE BOTH INTO THE SAME THING. WE'RE BOTH MOTHERS AND WE BOTH CARE ABOUT OUR CHILDREN.

MAYBE YOU DIDN'T CARE AS MUCH BEFORE, BUT BOY, WHEN YOU COME IN HERE AND YOU GET SOBER AND YOU GET, YOU KNOW, KIND OF A GREATER AWARENESS OF WHERE YOU ARE, CHILDREN BECOME YOUR PRIORITY. I'VE NEVER SEEN IT NOT HAPPEN.

>> Inmate: ALL I KNOW OUT THERE ON THE STREETS IS I'VE USED, I'VE DRANK. YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN OUT THERE AS A TEENAGER, THAT'S ALL I DID WAS USE AND DRINK. THAT'S ALL I GOT USED TO. I TRULY DON'T KNOW HOW TO LIVE OUT THERE.

>> Dee Ann Newell: THE WAR ON DRUGS WHICH REALLY BEGAN IN THE '70s PARTICULARLY STARTED TO IMPACT WOMEN IN THE '90s.

WE STARTED DOING OUR CLASSES FOR WOMEN IN PRISON IN '91.

IN 1994, THE WOMEN WERE MOVED FROM PINE BLUFF TO TUCKER BECAUSE WE HAD TOO MANY WOMEN. IT HAD DOUBLED.

THERE WERE ABOUT 400 WOMEN, AND THEN IN '98, FOUR YEARS LATER, WE MOVED THE WOMEN TO NEWPORT, McPHERSON UNIT, AND THE CAPACITY WENT FROM 400 TO 685, AND IT IS DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO THE ESCALATING DRUG USE AND ADDICTION AMONG WOMEN.

>> Inmate: LOOK AT THOSE WOMEN THAT GET OUT AND KEEP COMING BACK BECAUSE WE WANT HELP. WE'RE CRYING OUT. THEY'RE NOT HELPING.

>> Brandi: I STARTED WRITING THE CHECKS. ALL MY CHECKS WERE TO LIQUOR STORES. I GOT $2,000 WORTH OF CHECKS TO LIQUOR STORES, YOU KNOW, AND I'VE DONE ALMOST FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR IT. SO I DON'T THINK I WOULD HAVE WROTE THEM IF HE WOULDN'T HAVE RAN OFF WITH MY KIDS. I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THAT AT ALL.

I STILL DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH IT.

>> Deritha: UNFORTUNATELY I CHOSE TO DO DRUGS AND I WAS IN A WRECK AND A VERY DEAR FRIEND OF MINE WAS HURT, WAS KILLED IN THAT WRECK. AND I WAS THE DRIVER OF THE VEHICLE.

>> Lula: IT WENT FROM DRINKING TO MARIJUANA, YOU KNOW, AND THEN IT WENT FROM PILLS AND IT WENT FROM SNIFFING COCAINE AND AS I GOT OLDER, I SAW MY OLDER BROTHER, YOU KNOW, SMOKING CRACK.

AND I ASKED HIM TO LET ME TRY IT AND HE, YOU KNOW, HE JUST WIGGED OUT. HE DIDN'T WANT ME TO. BUT I PUSHED THE ISSUE AND PUSHED THE ISSUE. YOU KNOW, "IF YOU DON'T, SOMEBODY WILL." YOU KNOW, AND I SNUCK BEHIND HIS BACK AND I DID IT. YOU KNOW, AND THAT'S WHERE I MADE MY MISTAKE BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH HE WAS DOING IT, HE WAS TELLING ME THAT IT'S A DRUG THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO GET HOOKED UP WITH BECAUSE IT'S JUST SOMETHING THAT YOU JUST CAN'T PUT DOWN. YOU KNOW, IT'S A REAL ADDICTION.

>> Erica: I'M 24 YEARS OLD AND I FEEL 50. I MEAN, THAT'S JUST... YOU KNOW, I DIDN'T GET A CHANCE TO GROW UP, BE A KID. I MEAN, I DIDN'T GET A CHANCE TO BE A KID; I HAD TO GROW UP. AND NOW I'M LOOKING AT A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD KID. I CAN REMEMBER WHEN SHE WAS JUST BORN. NOW SHE'S SEVEN. SHE'S ABOUT THIS TALL. SHE COMES UP TO HERE ON ME. WELL, I HAD MY CHILD AND I WAS WITH MY MOM AND EVERYTHING. AND I GOT INTO DRUGS. WELL, I GAVE MY CHILD TO MY MOTHER SO THAT WOULD BE THE BEST THING FOR ME, YOU KNOW, TO DO. YOU KNOW, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT I'D FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH. THAT WAY I KNEW SHE WOULDN'T GET TAKEN AWAY FROM ME. OKAY?

I GOT INTO THEM REAL BAD AND I WAS NEGLECTING MY CHILD TO AN EXTENT OF ME NOT COMING AROUND BECAUSE OF HOW I WAS. I WAS SMOKING CRACK. IT WAS JUST A REAL BAD SITUATION.

WELL, SEPTEMBER THE SECOND OF '98, I CAUGHT A MURDER CHARGE BEHIND SMOKING CRACK AND DOING DRUGS, I MEAN, BECAUSE WHEN YOU'RE ON DRUGS YOU JUST REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENED.

THAT'S HOW MESSED UP I WAS.

>> Lula: I JUST LOST OUT ON LIFE, YOU KNOW? I LOST OUT ON LIFE.

I WAS GOING TO COSMETOLOGY SCHOOL, BUT WHEN I ENROLLED I NEVER DID GO.

YOU KNOW, AND I SAID THAT I LOVED MY CHILDREN BUT I WOULD PUSH MY CHILDREN OFF ON MY MOTHER BECAUSE I WANTED TO GO GET HIGH.

WHEN THEY WERE LITTLE KIDS AND, YOU KNOW, THEY USED TO RUN AROUND THE HOUSE WITH BIBLES IN THEIR HANDS, YOU KNOW, ASKING GOD TO SAVE ME.

REALLY THEY WAS THE PARENT AND I WAS THE KID. AND THEY ARE, THEY'RE WONDERFUL, YOU KNOW?

I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED, YOU KNOW, TO THEIR INSTRUCTIONS. INSTEAD OF ME GIVING THEM INSTRUCTIONS, THEY WAS GIVING THEM TO ME. BUT, YOU KNOW, AT THE TIME I WASN'T MYSELF.

YOU KNOW, I WAS OFF INTO WHAT LULA WANTED TO DO AND NOT LISTENING TO, YOU KNOW, THE RIGHT THING IN LIFE.

>> Dee Ann Newell: IN LEARNING AND SPENDING TIME WITH THESE MOTHERS IN THE PARENTING CLASS, YOU GET A SENSE OF HOW THEIR PRIORITIES MAY HAVE BEEN REAL MESSED UP. AND THESE ARE PRIMARILY WOMEN OF COLOR, WOMEN OF POVERTY, WOMEN OF... WHO HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED BY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, WHO HAVE A POOR EDUCATION. EVERYTHING IS SORT OF DOVETAILING. ALL THE SOCIAL ILLS ARE STARTING TO INTERSECT AT THE PRISON LEVEL, AND I'M NOT SURE THAT THE PUBLIC REALLY, REALLY UNDERSTANDS THAT THIS IS HAPPENING.

>> Narrator: THE CYCLE OF INCARCERATION IS HARD TO BREAK. MULTIPLE GENERATIONS OF A SINGLE FAMILY END UP IN THE SYSTEM.

STATISTICS SHOW MANY WOMEN ARE LIKELY TO BREAK PAROLE AND COME BACK, AND THERE IS A GROWING NUMBER OF CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND, MANY WHO FALL INTO CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR THEMSELVES.

>> Warden Jim Cooksey: WE HAVE MOTHERS HERE, FATHERS AT OTHER UNITS, HUSBANDS AT OTHER UNITS, SONS ACROSS THE STREET. THERE'S WHOLE FAMILY COMPONENTS THAT'S LOCKED UP INSIDE THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS IN ARKANSAS.

IT'S THE SAME FOR TENNESSEE.

ARKANSAS DOESN'T HAVE THIS DISEASE ON ITS OWN. FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY, THAT'S ALL THEY KNOW.

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>> Dina Tyler: ALL OF THESE WOMEN MADE A CHOICE AT SOME POINT. THEY CHOSE TO DO DRUGS. THEY CHOSE TO DRINK. THEY CHOSE NOT TO SEEK HELP. THEY CHOSE TO STAY IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. THEY MADE SOME CHOICES THAT PLACED THEIR CHILDREN BELOW SOMETHING ELSE.

WHAT I WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND IS THEY'RE PEOPLE TOO. THEY HAVE FEELINGS. THEY HAVE FAMILIES. THEY HAVE FRIENDS. THEY ARE JUST NOT SOMEBODY STANDING IN A WHITE SUIT WITH A NUMBER ON THE FRONT OF IT AND A NUMBER ON THE BACK OF IT. THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS. THEY HAVE MADE MISTAKES AND THEY ARE IN PRISON, AND MOST OF THEM AT SOME POINT WILL GO HOME AGAIN.

YOU CAN FEEL SORRY FOR THEM, BUT YOU CAN ALSO TRY TO RETUNE THEIR THINKING SO THAT THE CHOICES THEY MAKE THE NEXT TIME AREN'T THE SAME.

AND I THINK THAT IS HOW WE CAN BE MOST BENEFICIAL TO THE FEMALE INMATES AND TO THEIR CHILDREN AND TO THEIR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN. SO HOPEFULLY THE CYCLE WILL BE BROKEN, NOT FOR EVERYONE, BUT IF IT'S BROKEN JUST FOR ONE OR TWO, THAT'S A GOOD START.

>> Dee Ann Newell: HI.

>>Vandora THIS IS DEE ANN NEWELL. I'M TRYING TO ARRANGE FOR THE ANGEL TREE FOR GIFTS FOR THE CHILDREN OF MOTHERS IN NEWPORT

>> Narrator: KAMILAH'S FAMILY IS CAUGHT IN THAT CYCLE OF INCARCERATION.

IN ADDITION TO BOTH OF HER PARENTS HAVING BEEN TO PRISON, HER GRANDMOTHER ESTELLA IS ALSO A FORMER PRISONER.

>> Estella Brown: I GOT BUSTED IN 1969, AND I WENT TO THE ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION IN GRADY, ARKANSAS, CUMMINS UNIT.

I WAS THERE FOR FOUR YEARS. AND IT WAS NOT EASY. BUT I MADE THE BEST OUT OF IT.

I HAD A SMILE EVERY MORNING JUST LIKE I DO NOW. TRIED TO SMILE AND BE HAPPY AND BE CONTENT BECAUSE I KNEW I HAD MY TIME.

I KNEW I DID SOMETHING WRONG.

I KNEW I GOT CAUGHT.

SO BASICALLY IT WAS TIME TO JUST TO SAY, "HEY, MAKE IT GOOD."

SO THAT'S WHAT I DID.

>> Kamilah: THE DIFFERENCE FOR ME IS I LEARNED FROM EVERYBODY ELSE'S MISTAKE.

I SEE WHAT THEY'RE GOING THROUGH NOW AND WHAT I'VE BEEN THROUGH IN THE PAST, AND I'M JUST BASICALLY SAYING I DON'T WANT TO LIVE THIS LIFE.

I MEAN, I'M TIRED OF THIS LIFE.

I NEED TO DO SOMETHING THAT'S GOING TO HELP KAMILAH KEEP KAMILAH OUT OF TROUBLE.

SO I BASICALLY... I NARROWED MYSELF DOWN TO WHERE I DON'T NEED FRIENDS.

MY ONLY FRIEND IS MY GRANDMA AND MY AUNTIE.

MY FRIENDS ARE BASICALLY MY FAMILY.

SO I JUST WANT TO GET SOMEWHERE WHERE I DON'T HAVE TO JUST KEEP CONSTANTLY MOVING FROM PLACE TO PLACE. I MEAN, I'VE BEEN GOING THROUGH THAT ALL MY LIFE AND I'M JUST BASICALLY TIRED OF IT.

>> Estella Brown: THEY HAVE BEEN AROUND ME MORE THAN THEY HAVE ANYBODY ELSE, YOU KNOW? AND I'M JUST GLAD THEY HAD A PLACE TO GO.

>> Dee Ann Newell: WELL, YOU CERTAINLY SEE THE INTER-GENERATIONAL CYCLE. GRANDMA HAS BEEN TO PRISON AND NOW MOM.

NOW THERE ARE THESE CHILDREN WHO ARE CERTAINLY AT RISK.

I MEAN, NONE OF THESE CHILDREN GO OUT INTENDING TO, YOU KNOW, REPEAT THEIR PARENTS' OR THEIR GRANDPARENTS' LIVES AND YET IT HAPPENS.

I KNOW THIS FAMILY ON A PERSONAL BASIS. AND THEY ARE SORT OF LIVING WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING TO THEM JUST BESPEAK WHAT IS HAPPENING TO A LOT OF THESE FAMILIES. AND THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF HEART IN THAT FAMILY TO SURVIVE AND TO MAKE IT.

>> Narrator: SOME CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS ARE SENT INTO THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM, BUT MOST, LIKE KAMILAH, ARE TAKEN IN BY RELATIVES.

IN ARKANSAS, MANY CAREGIVERS ARE GRANDMOTHERS. ALREADY ON FIXED INCOMES, THEY ARE FACED WITH BECOMING PARENTS A SECOND TIME. BRENDA OLIVE IS RAISING HER SEVEN-YEAR-OLD GRANDSON WITH A UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO THE PROBLEMS FACING INCARCERATED MOTHERS.

SHE WAS ONCE ONE HERSELF.

>> Brenda Olive: I WAS JUST A NORMAL WIFE, MOTHER, WORKING MOTHER.

AT THE TIME I WAS... MY HUSBAND WORKED FOR THE CITY OF LITTLE ROCK. I WORKED AT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, AND I HAD FOUR CHILDREN AND EVERYTHING WAS JUST NORMAL.

MY HUSBAND GOT SICK AND I HAD A LITTLE GIRL DINA? ONE DAY SHE FELL. SHE CAME HOME AND, YOU KNOW, SHE WAS CRYING. THEY SAID SHE HAD GOTTEN HURT. SO WHEN WE WENT TO THE HOSPITAL, THEY FOUND OUT THAT SOME VERTEBRAS HAD CRUSHED DUE THE FACT THAT SHE HAD CANCER.

SO WITH THAT TURN OF EVENTS, MY WHOLE LIFE CHANGED.

SO SHE STARTED GOING THROUGH CHEMOTHERAPY AND IN AND OUT OF THE HOSPITAL AT THE SAME TIME WITH MY HUSBAND IN AND OUT OF THE HOSPITAL.

>> Narrator: BRENDA'S HUSBAND AND DAUGHTER BOTH DIED WITHIN A FEW MONTHS OF EACH OTHER. SHE TRIED TO SOLVE HER FINANCIAL PROBLEMS BY SELLING DRUGS AND WAS CAUGHT.

NOW YEARS LATER HER SON PATRICK IS IN PRISON.

>> Brenda: A LOT OF STUFF THAT MY CHILDREN WENT THROUGH, I NEVER FOUND OUT UNTIL YEARS LATER WHEN PATRICK STARTED GETTING IN TROUBLE AND WE WERE GOING FOR COUNSELING AND STUFF, AND THEN A LOT OF STUFF CAME OUT THAT HAD HAPPENED IN THE SEVEN MONTHS THAT I WAS GONE THAT I COULDN'T IMAGINE. AND THAT'S WHAT MADE ME GET INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH FAMILY AND CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PEOPLE BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT MINE WENT THROUGH IN THE LITTLE SEVEN MONTHS. SO YOU CAN IMAGINE KIDS WHOSE PARENTS ARE GONE FOR YEARS.

>> Dee Ann Newell: SERVICES FOR OUR CHILDREN WITH INCARCERATED PARENTS HAVE REALLY BEEN QUITE MEAGER, I DARE SAY NONEXISTENT, UNTIL ABOUT THE LAST TEN YEARS. AND IT'S ONLY RIGHT NOW WHERE WE'VE HAD THE TRIPLED NUMBER OF MOTHERS IN PRISON AND THEN THE TRIPLING OF THEIR CHILDREN THAT PEOPLE ARE REALLY BEGINNING TO TRY TO SERVE THESE CHILDREN.

WE DON'T KNOW A LOT ABOUT WHAT KIND OF SERVICES THEY NEED BECAUSE THE INFORMATION AND THE RESEARCH ON THESE CHILDREN IS REALLY VERY, VERY SHALLOW AT THIS POINT.

BUT WE DO KNOW SOME THINGS ABOUT THEM.

>> Narrator: BRENDA RUNS A SUPPORT GROUP CALLED KINSHIP CARE. IT IS FOR BOTH THE CHILDREN AND THE CAREGIVERS, AND THERE IS NO COST TO ATTEND.

AT THIS MEETING ONLY ONE CAREGIVER SHOWS UP. SHE HAS SEVEN CHILDREN.

>> Kristen Thomas, Caregiver: I JUST COULDN'T JUST SEE

SPLITTING THEM UP 'CAUSE THEY WERE GOING TO TAKE THEM AND TAKE ONE HERE AND THERE.

AND I SAID, "THAT'S ALL THEY HAVE IS FAMILY; AND IF YOU DO THAT, THEY'RE GOING TO GROW UP THINKING, 'WELL, NOBODY LOVES ME.'"

THERE YOU GO.

THEY'RE IN THE STREETS, IN THE SYSTEM, DOING DRUGS, OR VIOLENT AND GANG MEMBERS, SAYING, "WELL, DON'T NOBODY LOVE ME. I GOT TO TAKE WHAT I WANT." AND I JUST COULDN'T SEE THAT HAPPENING.

SO I SAID I COULDN'T DO IT.

IF THEY CHOOSE TO GO A DIFFERENT WAY WHEN THEY GET OLDER, IT'S NOT THAT THEY DIDN'T GET THE LOVE AND ATTENTION AND AFFECTION FROM SOMEONE THAT DID LOVE THEM.

SO THAT WAS MY MAIN GOAL IS KEEPING THEM TOGETHER AND SEE THAT THERE'S MORE TO LIFE THAN JUST WHAT THEY'VE SEEN.

>> Brenda Olive: I MEET WITH CAREGIVERS AND THEY'RE CARING FOR THESE CHILDREN WHO ARE FAMILY MEMBERS.

THE KIDS GET A CHANCE TO BE TOGETHER AND THE CAREGIVERS GET A CHANCE TO BE TOGETHER. AND WE GO THROUGH PARENTING CLASSES.

BUT MAINLY THEY SAY THEY ENJOY IT BECAUSE IT'S A TIME WHEN THEY CAN LET OFF WHAT'S IN THEM THROUGH THE WEEK THAT THEY'VE GONE THROUGH WITH THE CHILDREN BECAUSE, AS GRANDPARENTS, TO START OVER, YOU KNOW, IT IS HARD, YOU KNOW, TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

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YOU KNOW, THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE TIME WHEN YOU CAN DO THE THINGS THAT YOU WANT TO, AND IT DOES NOT INCLUDE GOING TO GROUPS AND TO SCHOOLS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. MY HEART, YOU KNOW, WEIGHS VERY HEAVY WITH THAT BECAUSE I NEVER HAD ANYONE THAT I COULD GO TO; AND EVEN NOW, AS OLD AS I AM, THAT STILL HURTS SOMETIMES. YOU KNOW, I TRY TO THINK, YOU KNOW, HOW GOOD IT WOULD BE TO HAVE HAD A MOTHER OR A FATHER OR SOMEBODY WHEN YOU'RE GOING THROUGH SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN GO TO FOR HELP.

>>Dr Nancy Harm: IT HAS A RIPPLING EFFECT WHEN WE SEND A WOMAN TO PRISON. WE CANT JUST ISOLATE HER AND THINK ABOUT NOTHING ELSE IN HER WORLD. BECAUSE IT RIPPLES OUT TO THE CHILDREN, TO THE GRANDPARENTS TO THE AUNTS, TO THE UNCLES. TO EVERYBODY THAT WORKS WITH THIS FAMILY. TO THE SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES THAT HAVE TO WORK WITH THE PROBLEMS THAT THE CHILDREN HAVE. TO THE SCHOOLS THAT HAVE TO DEAL WITH SCHOOL PROBLEMS. SO IT IMPACTS ALL OF US.

>> Dee Ann Newell: WE ARE STANDING ON THE BACKS OF THESE CAREGIVERS WHO ARE TAKING CARE OF THESE CHILDREN WHO ARE SACRIFICING WITH, YOU KNOW, LITTLE HELP, VIRTUALLY NO HELP. AND IF THEY GAVE THEM UP TO THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM, IT WOULD COST US SO MUCH MONEY AND WE COULD NOT HANDLE IT. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW, ABOUT $24 MILLION JUST OF THOSE CHILDREN WE'VE IDENTIFIED OF MOTHERS IN THAT ONE PRISON IN OUR STATE.

>>Dr. Nancy Harm, WE KNOW THAT DIFFERENT AGES, DIFFERENT CHILDREN HAVE DIFFERENT RESPONSES TO BEING SEPARATED FROM THEIR PARENTS. PLUS THE STIGMA IS OVERWHELMING FOR MANY CHILDREN.

MANY FAMILY MEMBERS DON'T WANT THE CHILD TO TALK ABOUT IT SO THERE'S THIS KIND OF CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE, IF YOU WILL, THAT KEEPS A CHILD FROM BEING ABLE TO TALK TO PEOPLE AND WORK THROUGH SOME OF THAT TRAUMA. AND LIKE I SAID, IT'S STIGMA. THEY GO TO SCHOOL AND THE KIDS SAY, "YOUR MOM'S IN PRISON." THAT'S ROUGH ON A KID.

>> Deritha: I KNOW THAT KIDS MAKE FUN OF HER BECAUSE I'M NOT THERE TO PICK HER UP AFTER SCHOOL LIKE THEY ARE OR MAKE HER LUNCHES, AND SHE'S ASKED SHE'S TOLD ME ABOUT THAT.

>> Lula: MY DAUGHTER. I HAVEN'T HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THE BOYS. BUT MY DAUGHTER... SHE SAID THAT SHE WAS AT SCHOOL AND, "THEY WAS LIKE, 'YOUR MOM IS IN PRISON, YOUR MOM IS IN PRISON,' AND I WAS JUST GOING TO SLAP ONE OF THE GIRLS."

AND I SAID, "NO, MA'AM. YOU CAN'T DO THAT."

"BUT, MOMMA, THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT YOU."

I SAID, "OKAY, WELL, LET'S THINK ABOUT JESUS." YOU KNOW? AND THAT'S ALL I KNOW TO TALK ABOUT. THAT'S HOW I KNOW TO KEEP MY KIDS SANE OUT THERE IN THAT WORLD WHEN LITTLE KIDS...BECAUSE I TOLD THEM, "THEY DON'T KNOW NO BETTER."

>> Dr. Nancy Harm: YOUNGER CHILDREN, PARTICULARLY LIKE TWO TO SIX, THAT AGE GROUP, TEND TO BELIEVE THAT THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND THEM AND THEY GET INTO THAT MAGICAL THINKING OF, "IF I HAD DONE SUCH-AND-SUCH, THIS WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED." SO PART OF WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE CHILDREN IS THAT THEY BEGIN TO FEEL LIKE THEY'RE AT FAULT SOMEHOW AND THEY CAN BECOME VERY WITHDRAWN, VERY DEPRESSED.

YOU CAN SEE DEVELOPMENTAL REGRESSION WHERE A CHILD WHO IS TOILET TRAINED MIGHT START HAVING PROBLEMS IN THAT AREA.

>> Deritha: I JUST TRY TO EXPLAIN THINGS TO THEM THE BEST I CAN. I'VE SAT DOWN AND TOLD THEM, YOU KNOW, SOME THINGS ABOUT WHY I'M HERE AND WHY I CAN'T BE WITH THEM AND THAT IT WASN'T NOTHING THAT THEY DONE OR NOTHING THAT THEY POSSIBLY COULD HAVE DONE, THAT IT WAS JUST ME AND I MADE A MISTAKE AND I'M TRYING TO DO BETTER. AND WITH ME BEING HERE, YOU KNOW, HE HAS TO EXPLAIN TO THE KIDS WHY I'M NOT THERE. AND MY LITTLE BOY ASKED HIM, HE SAID, "WELL, WHY DON'T YOU JUST GO GET MOMMY AND BRING HER HOME?" AND HE SAID IT JUST BROKE HIS HEART AND HE COULDN'T EXPLAIN WHY HE JUST COULDN'T COME UP HERE, AND CONNER WAS MAD AT HIM BECAUSE HE COULDN'T.

>> Dr. Nancy Harm: OLDER KIDS TEND TO ACT OUT MORE AND SO YOU START TO SEE A LOT OF ANGER. AGAIN SOME OF THEM MAY HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH TRAUMA FOR MOST OF THEIR LIVES ALREADY. SO THEY'RE NOT THAT HAPPY WITH MOM.

MOM MAY HAVE LEFT THEM THIS TIME; SHE MAY HAVE LEFT THEM ONCE BEFORE. THEY MAY HAVE HAD TO LIVE WITH SEVERAL DIFFERENT RELATIVES OR IN FOSTER CARE. SO THEIR REACTION IS OFTEN ANGER AND YOU START TO SEE THEM ACTING OUT IN SOME WAY.

>> Brandi: MY OLDER ONES STARTED HAVING REPERCUSSIONS FROM IT. THE OLDEST, SHE STARTED HAVING REPERCUSSIONS AND SHE WAS IN FIRST GRADE AND THREATENED TO KILL A GIRL AT SCHOOL. AND JUST THE ANGER IN THEM, IN THE CHILDREN. YOU KNOW, PEOPLE USED TO ALWAYS TELL ME, "WELL, THEY'RE YOUNG."

NO.

IT'S HARDER BECAUSE WHEN THEY'RE YOUNG, THERE IS NO WAY TO EXPLAIN TO A TWO-YEAR-OLD WHY THIS IS HAPPENING TO THEIR LIFE OR WHY SOMETHING HAS BEEN TAKEN SO THE ONLY WAY THEY KNOW HOW TO REACT IS BY, YOU KNOW, CRYING OUT EITHER WITH ANGER OR WHATEVER EMOTION THEY FIND FIRST.

AND WITH MY CHILDREN, THEY FOUND ANGER FIRST.

>> Tracy: MY SON, I FOUND OUT... WELL, HE HAS MY STUFF, MY CLOTHES.

I FOUND THIS OUT WHEN I SAW HIM. HE KEEPS MY CLOTHES IN HIS CLOSET, MY SHOES BY HIS BED, MY MAKE-UP AND STUFF.

AND I ASKED HIM, I SAID, "WHY DO YOU KEEP THAT IN YOUR ROOM?"

AND HE SAYS, "WELL, WHEN I WAKE UP AND I SEE IT, I FEEL LIKE YOU'RE JUST AT WORK."

GOD, I JUST LOST IT.

>> Deritha: AND REMEMBER, NOT EVERYONE IS THE SAME AND MOMMY IS HAPPY YOU ARE YOU. I LOVE YOU, CASSIE, AND I THINK OF YOU ALWAYS.

>> THAT'S BEAUTIFUL!

>> Deritha: AND THEN I PUT, "ONE CASSIE, ONE MOMMY EQUALS TWO HEARTS."

I DID SOME MATH PROBLEMS ON THE BOTTOM.

>> Taresa: AND NOW I HAVE EVERY CONFIDENCE AS WELL AS I HOPE YOU DO IN YOUR ABILITY TO MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS AND TO BE RESPONSIBLE ON YOUR OWN NOW, AS THAT IS WHAT YOU WANT.

JUST KNOW THAT I THANK GOD EACH AND EVERY DAY FOR THIS PRECIOUS GIFT HE HAS GIVEN OUR FAMILY. WE WERE SURE BLESSED WHEN GOD GAVE US YOU.

>> Dee Ann: OH TARESA THAT'S BEAUTIFUL. I LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH, MOMMA.

>> Dee Ann Newell: WORKING WITH THE MOTHERS, YOU CAN HOPEFULLY IMPACT THE CHILDREN IN A POSITIVE WAY. WORKING WITH THE CHILDREN, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN IMPACT THE MOTHERS IN A POSITIVE WAY.

IT'S REALLY USING THAT HOLISTIC APPROACH. YOU KNOW, EACH PIECE OF THE FAMILY UNIT, ANYTHING THAT YOU DO IMPACTS ALL THE OTHERS.

>> Lula: IT MATTERS NOT WHAT DAY I GET OUT. ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT I BE A BETTER MOM WHEN I GET OUT. THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS TO ME, YOU KNOW?

>> Deritha: IN OUR GROUPS YOU CAN JUST HEAR AND LISTEN TO THE OTHER MOTHERS ON HOW THEY HAVE RAISED THEIR CHILDREN IN THE PAST AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WEREN'T SO GOOD.

AND NOW THEY HAVE GOALS... YOU KNOW, THIS GIVES THEM GOALS AND THINGS THAT THEY CAN SHARE WITH THEIR CHILDREN. IT GIVES THEM TOOLS THAT THEY CAN TAKE OUT AND PUT IN USE WITH THEIR CHILDREN, AND IT CAN... THE CHILDREN CAN BENEFIT FROM IT. THE MOTHERS ARE HERE IN THE CLASSES AND LEARNING IT, BUT IT'S THE KIDS THAT ARE GOING TO GET THE BENEFIT FROM IT.

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>> Dr Nancy Harm: BACK IN THE '70'S WHEN I WAS AN ASSISTANT WARDEN AT A PRISON I CAN'T REMEMBER SPENDING A LOT OF TIME WORRYING ABOUT THE INMATE'S FAMILIES. AND SO I'VE REALLY COME TO BELIEVE THAT WITHOUT FAMILY SUPPORT WHILE YOUR'E IN PRISON AND WITHOUT DEALING WITH FAMILY ISSUES WHEN YOU LEAVE, WOMEN ARENT GOING TO MAKE IT.

>> Brandi: THIS IS THE BABY AT 26 WEEKS' GESTATION. THIS WILL MAKE MY FOURTH. I'VE GOT THREE LITTLE GIRLS. THAT'S HER LITTLE FACE AND HER EYE, HER NOSE, HER LITTLE MOUTH, AND THAT'S HER LITTLE HAND UNDER HER CHIN. THIS ONE IS DUE DECEMBER 15TH.

>> Woman: ARE YOU READY?

>> Little Girl: WEE!

>> Narrator: ALISHA SRYOCK HAD HER FOURTH CHILD IN PRISON.

>> Alisha Sryock: I THOUGHT THAT I WOULD GET PROBATION AND BE RELEASED. I WENT TO COURT ON AUGUST 5TH. ON AUGUST 4 I FOUND OUT I WAS PREGNANT.

I WENT TO THE MEDICAL FACILITY THERE AT THE PRISON AT 2:30 IN THE MORNING. AND, OH, GOSH, I DON'T KNOW. I WAS IN HARD LABOR. AND I GOT TO THE HOSPITAL ABOUT 3:00, A LITTLE AFTER 3:00. WHEN THE DOCTOR CAME IN, YOU KNOW, THEY WERE ASKING ME ABOUT ANESTHESIA, THE EPIDURAL.

I DIDN'T WANT ANYTHING BECAUSE I KNEW HOW MUCH TIME I HAD, AND I DIDN'T WANT TO NOT BE THERE FOR ALL OF IT. I THINK I HAD THREE TYLENOL WHILE I WAS IN LABOR, AND CASSIE WAS BORN AT 5:36 IN THE MORNING. AT 11:50 I WAS BACK AT THE PRISON.

>> Dee Ann Newell: UNTIL 2000 WHEN THE POLICY WAS WRITTEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, THERE WAS NO WRITTEN POLICY. IN OUR PRENATAL PARENTING CLASSES, WHICH IS ONE OF THE CLASSES WE HAVE, THERE WERE WOMEN RETURNING FROM THE HOSPITAL, FROM DELIVERY, SIX HOURS POST-DELIVERY.

A LOT OF THAT TIME WAS SPENT SLEEPING. IF YOU'VE EVER DELIVERED A BABY, YOU'RE PRETTY TIRED. SO THE ACTUAL MOTHER-CHILD, MOTHER-INFANT CONTACT WAS VERY, VERY SPARSE.

SO IN THE NEW WRITTEN POLICY, MOTHERS ARE TO REMAIN FOR 24 HOURS POST-DELIVERY WITH THEIR BABIES.

THE CONCERN ABOUT THIS ON OUR PART AS MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS IS THE MOTHER MAKING HER ATTACHMENT TO THE BABY.

WHAT I HAVE HAD WOMEN TELL ME IS, "DEE ANN, I DON'T FEEL THE SAME WAY ABOUT THIS BABY THAT I DID ABOUT MY OTHER CHILDREN WHO I WAS WITH."

AND THAT SETS OFF ALARM BELLS.

>> Narrator: PRISONS ARE LOCATED IN RURAL AREAS, AND CAREGIVERS OFTEN DON'T HAVE THE TIME, THE MONEY, OR THE TRANSPORTATION TO TAKE THE CHILDREN ON THE TRIP.

McPHERSON PRISON IS TRYING A NEW VISITATION PROGRAM FOR THE WOMEN WHO PARTICIPATE IN THE PARENTING CLASSES IN THE HOPES OF STRENGTHENING THE MOTHER-CHILD BOND.

>> HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR MOM RECENTLY?

>> YES.

>> HAVE YOU? HOW LONG AGO?

>> I CAN'T REMEMBER.

>> YOU CAN'T REMEMBER? LAST WEEK?

NO, NO.

WELL, I KNOW SHE'S EXCITED TO SEE YOU.

>> Narrator: VOLUNTEERS BRING CHILDREN FROM AROUND THE STATE WHO WOULD HAVE NO OTHER WAY TO GET THERE.

>> Guard: IF YOU ARE HERE HELPING WITH THE PROGRAM, I NEED YOU TO SIGN IN FOR ME PLEASE.

>> Little Girl: MOMMA!

>>THAT'S YOUR MOMMA. THAT'S YOUR MOMMA, NIA.

>> Louise: I HAVEN'T SEEN MY BABY IN LIKE 13 MONTHS, AND I'M JUST GLAD. I'M JUST EXCITED.

HEY, BIG GIRL.

HEY, YOU GOT HAIR! HAY!

>> Tracy: THANK YOU. I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW BIG YOU ARE. MY VISITS ARE SPECIAL 'CAUSE MY FAMILY HAS TO COME FROM SO FAR. SO WHEN HE'S HERE, I TRY TO THINK OF EVERYTHING I WANT TO SAY; BUT IT NEVER FAILS WHEN HE LEAVES, I WALK OUT THE DOOR AND I FEEL LIKE I DIDN'T TELL HIM ANYTHING.

MAKE SURE HE KNOWS HOW MUCH I LOVE HIM AND THAT I COULDN'T MAKE IT HERE IF I DIDN'T HAVE HIM.

>> Martha: OH, I LOVE MY CHILDREN. JUST BECAUSE I'M HERE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MY LOVE FOR THEM. AND IF THEY'RE CARETAKERS OF OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN, LET THOSE CHILDREN COME AND BE WITH THEIR MOTHER. WHETHER, YOU KNOW, THEY LIKE THE MOTHER OR NOT WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE.

THE CHILDREN DO LOVE THEM. SO LET'S GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO COME HERE.

>> NEXT, GOLDILOCKS LAY DOWN ON BABY BEAR'S BED. "AH, THIS BED IS JUST RIGHT,"SHE SAID, AND FELL FAST ASLEEP.

>> Louise YOU DON'T KNOW WHO I AM, NIA? LOOK WHAT I GOT MADE FOR YOU.

>> Dee Ann: IS THIS YOUR BABY

>> ARE YOU GLAD TO SEE HER?

>> YES.

>>AND THIS MOMMA OF YOURS.

>> THIS IS HER GRANDMOTHER, HER DAD'S MOM.

>> NOT YOUR MOM?

>> NO, BUT SHE'S WITH HER.

>> WHAT DOES SHE CALL YOU?

>> MOMMA.

>> MOMMA, MOMMA. TWO MOMMAS.

>>Louise: MY DAUGHTER SAID SHE JUST PUT PRISON OUT OF HER MIND, AND IT WAS LIKE WE WAS AT HOME. YOU KNOW, WE WAS AT HOME HAVING DINNER TOGETHER, AND IT WAS JUST... IT WAS DIFFERENT FROM THE REGULAR VISITATION. WE DID THINGS HERE THAT WE USED TO DO AT HOME. WE USED TO SING TOGETHER AT HOME. YOU KNOW, IT WAS REAL SPECIAL. IT WAS SPECIAL.

>> Dee Ann: YOU ARE QUITE SOMETHING. WERE SO GLAD YOU COULD COME.

>> Narrator: BRANDI'S BABY IS NOW SEVEN WEEKS OLD. HER SISTER-IN-LAW BRINGS BABY ZOE TO VISIT.

>> Brandi: THAT TAKES A BIG SACRIFICE TO TAKE SOMEONE ELSE'S CHILD AND LOVE 'EM. ESPECIALLY A NEWBORN.

AIN'T SHE CUTE, Y'ALL? SAY HI. WHEN YOU'RE CAUGHT UP IN YOUR OWN EVERYDAY LIFE AND YOU SEEM TO PUT THE CHILDREN OVER HERE ON THE SIDELINES.

I WANT TO PUT MY... I WANT TO PUT MY KIDS FIRST FOR ONCE.

I DON'T WANT... MY LIFE'S ALWAYS BEEN SO BUSY WITH ME. I'VE BEEN SO CONCERNED ABOUT MY OWN STUFF OVER HERE THAT MY KIDS... I NEVER DID SEE, YOU KNOW, THE IMPORTANCE OF JUST BEING THERE FOR THEM. I JUST SAY THANK YOU TO ALL THE CAREGIVERS ACTUALLY FROM MOTHERS. THAT'S A BIG, BIG... I DON'T THINK EVEN WE REALIZE IT, HOW MUCH THAT IS FOR THEM TO, YOU KNOW, TAKE OUT OF THEIR OWN TIME AND OUT OF THEIR HEARTS TO LOVE ANOTHER CHILD, OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN.

>> Dee Ann Newell: BOTH THE SENIOR MANAGEMENT OF ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND THE ACTUAL WARDEN AT OUR STATE WOMEN'S PRISON, THEY ARE ALL SEEMING TO UNDERSTAND NOW THAT THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF, YOU KNOW, THE WELL BEING OF THEIR INMATES BUT ALSO OF THE INNOCENT CHILDREN.

THIS IS A HUGE MOTIVATIONAL TOOL FOR WORKING WITH PARENTS IN PRISON IS GIVING THEM BETTER ACCESS TO THEIR CHILDREN.

>> Warden Jim Cooksey: THE McPHERSON UNIT IS A FEMALE FACILITY, AND MAYBE THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY WE TRY TO OFFER THE FEMALES THE PROGRAMMING WE DO, THAT MAYBE WE'RE TRYING TO BE TOO LENIENT AND SOFT ON THEM.AND WE'RE REALLY NOT.

OUR JOB AS THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS IS NOT TO PUNISH THE INDIVIDUAL BUT TO TRY TO SEND THE INDIVIDUAL BACK TO SOCIETY BETTER THAN SHE WAS. THE PUNISHMENT IS DONE BY THE COURTS. WHAT WE DO HERE AT THE FACILITY WILL INFLUENCE SOCIETY AS A WHOLE BECAUSE MOST OF THESE FEMALES ARE THE CORE PART OF THE FAMILY UNIT.

>> Lula: LORD, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRESENCE HERE LORD. WE THANK YOU THAT EACH AND EVERY CHILD GOT TO COME. THOSE WHO DIDN'T BUT HAD THE DESIRE TO COME AND HAD NO WAY,

LORD, WE THANK YOU FOR GIVING THEM COMFORT IN THEIR HEART TO KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE OKAY MY CHILDREN, I KNOW THAT THEY'RE GOING TO BE BY MY SIDE AND THAT I'M GOING TO BE BY THEIR SIDE. AND YES I HAVE MISSED A LOT OF YEARS OF THEIR LIFE AND I'VE GOT A LONG WAY TO GO, YOU KNOW, TO MISS SOME MORE YEARS OF THEIR LIVES.

BUT I KNOW GOD IS BRINGING US TOGETHER WHILE I'M IN HERE AND THEY'RE OUT THERE HE'S STILL BONDING US TOGETHER.

>> WE'LL BE WAITING ON YOU. DON'T YOU WORRY ABOUT IT, OKAY?

TELL HER BYE, NIA.

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