Children with Incarcerated Parents, Criminal Justice, Parenting, Uncategorized

Visiting Prison: The Endless Wait

I published an essay with The Osborne Association as part of their #SeeUsSupportUs campaign.

This one’s about the degrading treatment one receives when visiting a loved one in prison. If you haven’t joined #SeeUsSupportUs already, please consider doing so to support families coping with having an incarcerated loved one.

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Here’s the beginning of the essay:

I got the feeling nobody wanted to be at Clinton Correctional Facility in the summer of 2003. Not the guards. Not the incarcerated. Certainly not me. Yet my sister and I drove there for the weekend because we wanted to see our dad for the first time in years.

The Sunday of that visit, we arrived at 7:45am in hopes of getting in at 8:30—we had a seven-hour drive back to Buffalo and wanted to leave by noon. We received visitor pass #56.

There were no signs telling us where to go, where to wait, what to do. Just a room of silent women, some with children, some itching to go outside and smoke.

To read the rest, go to http://www.osborneny.org/news/voices-from-see-us-support-us-pamela-brunskill/.

 

Children with Incarcerated Parents, Criminal Justice, Uncategorized

Family Separation Because of Incarceration and Detention at the Border Is Taking a Toll on Children

“Whether separated due to immigration or incarceration, these children are in limbo.”

I have a new article on Teen Vogue this week that compares the long-term effects the trauma children at the border are facing to the trauma children with incarcerated parents face. Can the empathy shown towards children at the border be extended to children with incarcerated parents?

Click here to read the article!

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Children with Incarcerated Parents, Criminal Justice, Education

#SeeUsSupportUs: how schools can be more understanding and supportive of children of incarcerated parents

The Osborne Association works with individuals, families, and communities affected by the criminal justice system to further develop their strengths and lead lives of responsibility and contribution.

This month, they are running the campaign, #SeeUsSupportUs, where they highlight voices directly impacted by parental incarceration. I’m honored to be featured today here.

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The Attendance Note by Pamela Brunskill

Crammed into the tiny attendance office at Williamsville South High School, I handed my note to the woman behind the desk. Mom had written that I would be picked up after second period again. It was day three of what would be Dad’s two-and-a-half week murder trial.

The chic blonde unfolded the note, read it, and raised her eyebrows. “Why will you be leaving?”

I tucked my head down. I remained silent, trying to figure out what to say.

The blonde sighed and tried again. “Is it for a doctor’s appointment? The dentist?”

Read the rest of the essay here.

 

 

Children with Incarcerated Parents, Criminal Justice, Parenting, Uncategorized

The Crime Gene? No Such Thing.

I have an essay up on Goodhousekeeping.com today that explores the idea of the crime gene. Take a look at how fear impacted my parenting during my lowest moment, and how gathering courage to face that fear allowed for me to be a better parent and person.

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“A week after the birth of my third child, I brought a few cups from the kitchen table to the growing pile of dirty dishes on the counter, too exhausted to actually load them. The C-section and my son Michael’s stay in the NICU had taken its toll, and I could barely function…”

Read the rest of the essay here!