Children and Parents
Nell Bernstein in his book, All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated, is a moving insight into the effects of America’s incarceration policy. The award-winning journalist delves into the lives of children whose parents are locked up in prison. The book is a condemnation of the penal code of the U.S. Over two million children and parents who are torn apart by the current incarceration policy are subjects in the book. It gives accounts of the challenges that children with incarcerated parents face in their lives.
The accounts presented by Nell Bernstein calls to attention issues pertaining to the rights of these children. A careful look at the bill of rights for children with incarcerated parents gives guidance on how to deal with issues emanating from the accounts presented in the book. For example the book has evidence to studies that show that 70 percent of children who were present at the time of their parents arrest watch them getting handcuffed. It is then estimated that 30 percent of the parents are arrested with the use of weapons getting in play. This is quite undesirable. These could cause trauma to the children which is not fair to them. The book also implies that a minimal number of arrest officers would deal with the situation differently if there were children present. This appears very inconsiderate to the welfare of this children. It has been evidenced that police always wait for the evening hours when the probability of their targets being at home is high. This means that most of the time children will be home when the arrest are made.
A lot of previous works are in agreement that children should be protected from all the effects that come along as a result of the incarceration of their parents. In agreement, is that these children should reserve the right to support and life long relationship with the parents. They also should be allowed to visit and touch their parents at all times. From the book, it is documented that at times the children are delivered to social welfare homes in police cars. This is a controversial subject as it may have effects on the perceptions of the other kids this child will be interacting with at the home. Whether the home should collect the kids from the police or the police should deliver the kids is a contentious issue. The bottom-line is that the welfare of these children should be safeguarded by all means.
Anthony is appears in the book as a 5 year old whose mother cooks methamphetamine as he watched TV. Police come in and their entry is not a particularly very considerate of children that might be in the house. It is important that note that the bill of rights for children whose parents have been incarcerated acknowledges that children should not be judged or made to suffer because of their parents misgivings and transgressions. During the arrest an officer tells Anthony that he will be going to a “kiddies’ jail”. Being scornful to a 5 year kid for an office not their own is not a very good thing for an officer of the law to do. The officers should be trained on how to handle such situations in the best interest of the children that might be involved.
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