Mother Interview 2

Antioch College

 

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0:40 - Introduction

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Segment Synopsis: The interviewee introduces herself and gives background to her experience. She has been incarcerated for 2 and half years, has 17 months left on her sentence and is 23 years old, she is from Dayton Ohio, and her daughter is four years old. She was sentenced to four years for a bank robbery.

Keywords: Dayton Correctional Institute; Incarcerated Motherhood

1:10 - Background

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Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that her daughter is four years old and is able to see her regularly- once every other week. It helps out that her family is from Dayton, which is close the prison. Her daughter lives with her grandma, which is the interviewees mother.

Keywords: Incarcerated

2:15 - The Motherhood Role

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Partial Transcript: "I'm curious what you feel the role of being a mother means."

Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares what her idea of what being a mother means. She talks about how it includes unconditional love, and being there to support your children. "Be their cheerleader, be their sparkplug." The interviewee shares that a lot of her parenting is based off of what she learned from her own mother. She shares that her own mother has always been there for her.

Keywords: Mother; Support; Unconditional love

Subjects: Motherhood

4:14 - Stories of her Daughter

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Partial Transcript: "Do you have any stories of your daughter... that are your favorite?"

Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that her daughter is very young. Her daughter does not understand that she is incarcerated, instead her daughter believes that she is at work. The interviewee shares that when her daughter comes to visit she see all uniformed workers at the prison. She says that now when her daughter sees police officers outside of the prison she tells them, "my mommy works with you." The interviewee shares that this is bittersweet. She shares that her daughter things she is a "role model citizen" and that she is going to have to fix that someday. The interviewee shares that her parents bring her daughter to visit regularly. On one visit, which was New Years Eve and her daughters birthday, her daughter turned around as she was leaving the visiting room and said "mommy, go to work." The interviewee shares that her daughter will be five years old when she is released from the prison.

Keywords: Daughter; Incarcerated; Police Officer

Subjects: Incarceration; Motherhood

5:18 - Changed Roles Inside the Prison

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Partial Transcript: "Do you think your time her has changed how you mother?"

Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that being incarcerated has not really changed how she mothers. She shares that the biggest thing has been learning to not take things for granted. The interviewee shares that since her daughter was so young upon her incarceration that she missed her first steps, and that she was not able to be the one who potty trained her daughter. She shares that because of being where she is, she has missed the parental milestones. The interviewee shares that even though she's a part of her daughters life, she is not there physically.

Keywords: Milestones; Parenthood

Subjects: Incarceration; Motherhood

7:16 - How Do Mothers Talk to Their Children About Prison

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Partial Transcript: "How do you think there could be more support... for mothers in explaining that there's nothing wrong with this... that your mom is not a bad person?"

Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that Dayton Correctional Institute has a "Positive Parenting Group," but they don't really talk about how to talk to your children about incarceration. Although, the interviewee shares that she has had conversations about this with other incarcerated mothers at DCI. They have had conversations about ways they talk to and approach their children about the topic of prison. Some of the women have older children, she shares, and they tend to understand what's happening. The interviewee shares that she believes it is easier for those mothers, because they can confide in their children and teach them to learn from their mistakes. The interviewee shares that it is easier for her daughter to believe that she is at work than to try to explain to her since she is so young.

Keywords: Children; Dayton Correctional Facility; Dayton Correctional Institute; DCI; Groups

Subjects: Incarceration; Motherhood

10:03 - Sentimental Barriers

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Partial Transcript: "What barriers have you experienced, that is kind of hard to answer because incarceration itself becomes a barrier, but what kind of maybe emotional, or maybe it's a person sort of thing where you have a shift inside...but are there barriers you feel like exist while you're incarcerated for you to be a mother that you want to be?"

Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that it doesn't matter the age of your children, when you are incarcerated you are missing many milestones of your child(ren)s life that you can't get back. She shares that you can't get the time back that you missed, you can't get back the graduations, the birthdays or the holidays. In the interviewees experience, she missed the first steps, potty training, birthdays, and holidays- which are a big thing in her family. The interviewee share that since she has been incarcerated she has lost both her father and her grandfather. The interviewee shares that grief and loss situations are hard to deal with alone, but she had to maintain the strength for her daughter who comes to see her every other week. She says it makes it harder, because it's an additional weight on your shoulders on top of what you already have to deal with. The interviewee shares that there are definitely barriers, but it's more of a sentimental barrier- because there are thing that you won't get back no matter what.

Keywords: Barriers; Grief; Incarcerated; Loss; Strength; Time

Subjects: Incarceration; Motherhood

12:01 - Visitation at Dayton Correctional Institute

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Segment Synopsis: The interviewee explains that since her people are coming locally she gets three hour visits. Those visits are every other week, or two visits per month. Usually one visit is her mother and her daughter and the next one is her grandmother with her daughter, that way she is able to see a little bit of everybody. The say that there is a toy room and her daughter gets to pick out a toy to bring the table during the three hour visits. She can play with her daughter and read to her. They take pictures at every visit. They can eat during the visits. The interviewee says she colors with her daughter during visits. They color a picture together and her daughter takes it home with her. The interviewee says the visits grant you a lot of opportunity to interact with your children, which she is glad about. At other institutions, she say, you don't really get that opportunity. The interviewee shares that for the summer there is an outdoor visiting area with murals of Dora and other cartoon characters everywhere, she says it's "very family friendly out there." The interviewee says that it helps with breaking the barriers. The interviewee shares that her daughter is able to sit on her lap as she reads to her.

Keywords: Breaking Barriers; Visitation

Subjects: Incarceration; Motherhood; Visits

19:30 - What Could Be Better?

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Partial Transcript: "Are there ways the system could be improved to better you ability to mother or even for your experience here?"

Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that once a year there is a "Mommy and Me" day. On this day families bring in children of incarcerated parents at the prison and they set up games, and have a cookout. The interviewee shares that she is a 'level 3 inmate,' and that she is considered a 'violent offender,' and that she can't attend "Mommy and Me" days. She shares that that is due to her crime, but it is changeable- but security reviews are only once a year and you have to meet certain stipulations. She shares that when she was first at the prison she was in and out of segregation and she has not yet been considered to be dropped down to a level 2. She shares that she hasn't been in trouble a lot, but it's been enough. The interviewee shares that her level has nothing to do with her parenting. She feels like she gets the short end of the stick with her level 3 security level. She shares that if she was a level 1 or 2 she would be able to have three or four visits per month. She claims that she did that to herself, because when she first got to prison she "could have met the stipulations." She shares that it's been really hard, because of the loss of her dad and her grandfather during times of adjustment. She shares that she "she hates to sound stereotypical, but sometimes in prison it's fight or flight... and sometimes it's sink or swim." The interviewee shares that there have been times when her visits with her daughter have been what motivated her to not do something that would have gotten her in trouble. However, the interviewee feels as though it's a battle she's not going to win. She feels like if she's going to get a ticket regardless, she might as well do what the ticket said she did. She shares that she really did have this mentality for a while, because at one point she was put in the hole for fighting when in reality she really didn't fight anyone. The interviewee shares that she was convicted of a felony for robbery for trying to rob a bank, and because of this she has been perceived as violent since arriving at the prison. The interviewer inserts that the security leveling system is not complex enough to accommodate the reality of peoples 'crimes.' The interviewee shares that she feels like a very good 'inmate,' adding that she has received nineteen certificates from groups inside the prison. The interviewee shares that she has witnessed some level 4's that are now level 2's, and that she really doesn't understand how the system works. The interviewee shares that she is always reminding herself that her incarceration is temporary, and that she has a life waiting for her outside of the prison. She shares that she can't let the prison get the best of her, because ultimately that affects her parenting.

Keywords: Family; Mommy and Me; Security Level; Tickets; Visitation

Subjects: Incarceration; Motherhood

21:09 - Phonecalls, Email and Creative Forms of Parenting from Prison

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Partial Transcript: "How often do you get to talk on the phone?"

Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that she talks to her daughter on the phone at least 2 or 3 times per day. Phone calls are a maximum of 15 minutes long each. The interviewee shares that it's more like ten because the phone calls are interrupted multiple times throughout. The interviewee shares that she tries to get as many phone calls in as possible, sometimes that is deterred by lockdowns. She also shares that she has a JPay she can email from. For listeners that do not know, a JPay is a tablet like device that is distributed within prisons. JPay's have restricted access to things like email, games and music. To receive a JPay if you are incarcerated you must purchase it. The interviewee shares that in addition to phone calls with her daughter, she is also able to send and receive emails. Through this platform she is able to see pictures that her daughter draws for her. The interviewee shares that her daughter is currently into a television show called "Shimmer and Shine," the interviewee was able to go to her case manager and get coloring pages from the show. Her and her daughter are able to color one half each of the pages. Sometimes the interviewee is able to include a piece of gum, a sticker or a packet of Kool-Aid in the mail with the images. The interviewee shares that some people don't realize, there are ways to parent from prison without the prisons help.

Keywords: Email; JPAy; Lockdown; Phone calls; Pictures

Subjects: Incarceration; Motherhood; Phone calls in prison