Life Without…

LIFE WITHOUT… is a one hour documentary about the children of prison inmates.

Many children somehow feel responsible when a parent is arrested.  Maybe they were the ones who opened the door when the police showed up, or they feel that if Mom or Dad had stayed home with them on Friday night this wouldn’t have happened.

The parents and children we will be following in LIFE WITHOUT… will include; a career criminal, a first timer, a female inmate, and a white collar criminal.  We will meet the children first and they will describe for us what their parent did, and why they are where they are.

We will follow a child through the doors of prison and see what they have to go through just to see their parent.  The forms to be filled out, the long lines, through the locked doors, surrounded by glass and bars, to a room where they can’t physically touch that parent.

We’ll also meet the parent who is not in jail and learn from them their struggles in trying to keep the family together.  In some instances it’s not a parent, but a grandparent who is raising the children.  We will see the children before and after a visit, see their mood swings, the excitement of going to see Mom or Dad, and the reality that they’ll be going home alone when their hour is up. The story will be told through the eyes of the child, what is it like to live without a parent being there for you both emotionally and physically.  What kind of an example are these parents setting?

We will include examples of  prison programs which seek to maintain the bond between the children and their incarcerated parent. Some allow the children to stay overnight, while others encourage the inmates to assume a greater involvement in the upbringing of a child by ensuring regular visits with their children.  But do any of these programs have any effect on the children?  Are they keeping kids out of jail?

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