Mother Interview 4

Antioch College


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00:00:52 - Introduction

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Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that she is "46, a Caucasian female," she is from Cincinatti Ohio and she has been incarcerated 20 years. She has a 25-to-life sentence. Her children were 10, 6, 5 and 2 at her arrest.

Subjects: Dayton Correctional Institution; Incarcerated Motherhood; Incarceration; Motherhood

00:03:25 - Staying in Contact

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Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that when she was first incarcerated it was a "big fight" with her children's father to see them. Her sister and her minister used to bring her kids up. She shares that as they got older they stayed persistent in wanting to see her. So her sister, mother and minister started to bring them more frequently. She shares that there was about six years where seeing her kids was rocky. She still gets visits from her kids now that they're older. She shares that for the past ten years or so she's been really involved with their lives. She shares that she makes things every year for birthday's and holiday's and that she communicates with them a lot through email, phone calls and visits. She says that they are really close. Her oldest lives in Boston now and doesn't visit as often. The younger three all still live in Ohio and visit regularly. The interviewees shares that she used to be at Marysville (Ohio's other women's prison), and visits were even less often because of the distance. Now that it's closer it's easier for them to visit, she has been at DCI for 6 years.

Subjects: Incarcerated Motherhood; Incarceration; Motherhood

00:06:16 - A Closer Look

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Partial Transcript: "What kind of support have you experienced from DCI for you as a mother?"

Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that there is something called Family Days as part of something she's in called PowerNet. The interviewee shares that there will be a Mother's Day on December 5th, and her kids and family will be able to come to that. She shares that it has been a headache to get it to that point, and to be approved. She shares that everything seems to be so difficult. She also has a life group family day coming up on December 18th. She shares that that is running a bit more smoothly. She shares that it just seems like they are putting limitations on everything. Although she states that she understands that due to the drug epidemic the prison tries to limit the physical contact with people coming into the prison. She shares "we have to pay for every body else's wrongs here. That's just the way it is." The interviewee shares that when Warden Mack (Lawrence Mack) was at DCI, he was the best warden she has seen in her 20 years while incarcerated. She has seen three wardens in her six years at DCI. Two of them were men, and now the warden in a woman. The interviewee shares that Mack was very family oriented, and that he would come to the Christmas parties at the prison with his wife. During his time, the women had the ability to have religious services with their families.

Subjects: DCI; Incarceration; Life sentences; Motherhood

00:11:00 - How Do We Prevent Inter-Generational Incarceration?

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Partial Transcript: "What do you wish or suggest they do, or could be done- not changing your sentence, but just changing the way that you're able to interact with your children?"

Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares that they should have a family day, but not have the visiting family members be so isolated. She shares that she wish it could be something like the D.A.R.E program where they get a tour of the prison beyond the visiting room. She shares that a lot of children of incarcerated parents, sadly, follow in their parents footsteps. She shares "we do that do our kids by coming here." "If they see where we eat at, if they see where we lay down at, if they see the things we have to go through, or endure while we're in here, maybe it will help to break that generational curse." The interview shares that the visitors are left to interpret the prison as "peachy" if they just see it from the visiting room. She thinks that children should have to eat a meal in the chow hall. Anything that could be done to prevent the children of incarcerated parents from going to prison themselves. The interviewee shares that she's fortunate that her children are on the right track. The interviewee shares that her case involved domestic violence, and that she talks to her sons about never putting their hands in their significant other's. For her daughter, she tells her to never deal with or settle for abuse in her life. The interviewee shares that she leaves an "open chain of communication" with her children so that they can share anything with her. She shares that she does not judge or ridicule her children. The interviewee shares that when she is interacting with her children, she does not tell them what to do, alternatively, she shares from her own experience. The interviewee shares that her children look up to her, respect her and admire her.

00:13:02 - A Little About Her Children

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Segment Synopsis: The interviewee shares a little more about her children. Her 26 year old son, she shares struggles with depression and that he isolates himself. She shares that before she was incarcerated, he was sort of her "pick of the kids." She also shares, that because of what was happening before her incarceration, he endured some abuse. He was at one point hospitalized in a psychiatric ward due to her incarceration.

00:17:23 - Final Thoughts

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Partial Transcript: "Is there anything you would just like to tell to people about being incarcerated?.. In the vein of motherhood."

Segment Synopsis: The interview shares that motherhood has been an experience. "Even outside of prison, it's an adventure to raise kids, and it's an honor to have such wonderful kids." She shares that it has not always been the way it is now, and like any relationship, it is a work in progress. The interview shares that she is also a grandmother now, and that it's a joy. She shares that she hates that her kids have to bring her grand-kids to the prison. She shares that her oldest daughter refuses to let her daughter be a part of the visiting hall. Her daughter doesn't want her daughter to go to school and say "my grandma's in prison." The interviewee shares that it "kinda sucks," but that she understands. She has five grand-kids, the oldest is nine years old. The interviewee shares that it's hard sometimes. Her daughter sometimes shares on Facebook that she wishes her mom could be near her. The interviewee shares that she feels bad about shattering the world of her children. She shares that they just have to "pick up the pieces" as they go. She shares that it has made her into a better person, and a better mother. The interviewee shares that her own mother was abusive and an alcoholic and that she never really knew herself what it meant to be a mom. The interviewee shares that since she has been incarcerated she has taken different parenting classes, and she's graduated Hannah's Gift (which is a bible study). She closes by saying that she is bettering herself to better them.