Monday, November 13, 2006


One in six children in Hartford has at least one parent in prison, according to a story in Sunday's Hartford Courant. One in six, that's hard to imagine. I was in my thirties before I knew well somebody who had been in prison. As you might imagine, life for these children is difficult. They have higher rates of suicide, drug abuse, and arrest. Whether this is the apple falling pretty much where you would expect or a function of one or more parents missing is not addressed in the article.
Why is this happening in Hartford? Poverty, education, cultural choices? I haven't a clue. It just seems odd that less than two miles from here lies a different world where children visit prisons instead of museums on the weekends. How must this inform their view of the world? I assume that if you're in prison at the very least you're a screw up, if not much, much worse. Some of these kids parents are drug dealers who were sent away for killing people. What assumptions do they make about people like their imprisoned parent? Even if they draw the "correct" conclusion it must make them feel pretty crappy about themselves and their family. What a sad situation.

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