Visiting Day

barsEarlier this week, I saw an episode of Reading Rainbow which showcased books about children of incarcerated parents. The main selection, “Visiting Day,” followed a girl and her grandmother as they prepared to visit her father who was in prison. The main real life segment of the show featured a similar situation. A young girl’s family was preparing to visit her father in prison. The cameras followed the family through the check-in process with security and stayed for a visit. The girl talked about how her father had been in prison for as long as she could remember and how she liked visiting her father, but she felt sad when it was time to leave. The family appeared to be having a nice time together, talking and playing and laughing. All of this was brought to a dramatic halt, however, when she asked her father what he did to go to prison. After a five or six second silence, her father told her how he shot someone, and while he did not kill them, it was something he was not proud of. ┬áThe family completed its visit and then went home. Several other books were highlighted (they appear on the episode page) and LaVar Burton, the host, ┬ádiscussed how it was difficult for kids who had a parent who was in prison and how it was important not to judge them. I had really mixed feelings at the end of the episode. The issue was handled with great compassion and intelligence by the producers of the show (which is probably why they have 26 Emmys), but it really made me concerned about the future of the young people whose chances of entering the system are astronomically increased because of their parents’ incarceration.

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One comment on “Visiting Day

  1. Pingback: How did I miss this? « TJs Things

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