Keeping incarcerated mothers and their families together

As Wendy Sawyer and Wanda Bertram recently wrote for the Prison Policy Initiative, “Over half (58%) of all women in US prisons are mothers, as are 80% of women in jails, including many who are incarcerated awaiting trial simply because they can’t afford bail… And these numbers don’t cover the many women preparing to become mothers while locked up this year: An estimated 58,000 people every year are pregnant when they enter local jails or prisons.” In this edition of Rattling the Bars, Mansa Musa speaks with Debra Bennett-Austin of Change Comes Now about the shocking number of incarcerated mothers in the US today, the barriers keeping incarcerated mothers from staying connected with their families, and the irreparable damage those severed connections cause for everyone involved.

Debra Bennet-Austin is the president and co-founder of Change Comes Now, a nonprofit “focused on assisting those who have been, are in danger of being, and who are currently impacted by the criminal legal system.” Bennet-Austin was formerly incarcerated for 19 years in the Florida Department of Corrections and has been home for four years.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


TRANSCRIPT

The transcript of this video will be made available as soon as possible.

Mansa Musa

Mansa Musa (formerly Charles Hopkins) is a 70-year-old social activist. He was released from prison on December 5, 2019, after serving 48 years, nine months, 5 days, 16 hours, 10 minutes. He co-hosts the TRNN original show Rattling the Bars.