Pain of the Prison System

Teenagers with parents in prison explore the untold effects of incarceration on those left behind.

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“Those Prisoners Had to Feel Who Was Boss. And We Made Them Feel.”

I broke the story on a private prison in South Africa where guards inflicted horrendous abuse. But to really understand what happened, I had to talk to the torturers themselves.

My Brother Burned Our House Down—and Now I Understand Why

Years of drug addiction, mental illness and incarceration sent my sibling over the edge. A decade later, when I spent a night in jail myself, I finally saw what lit his fire.

My First Visit to See Dad in Prison

I was four when my father was sent away for domestic abuse. I was desperate to see him again—until I finally got the chance.

Nine Years Ago, the Cops Came for My Father

I wonder now if that was actually the day that saved me.

My Life Sentence of Shame

My second grade teacher’s abusing hands hurt more than I could say. A decade later, I feel as if I’m still being punished for his crime and I’ve told almost nobody until now.

Fleeing My Own Father

He was coming for my mother, knife in hand. I grabbed her and ran, praying the police would get to our house before he could get to us.

What a Double Life-Sentence Feels Like, to a Daughter Left Behind

I was only twelve when Dad was sent away—and that was just the beginning.

The Fear of Losing Everything in the Blink of an Eye

It wasn’t my first time in lockup, but it was the longest night of my life.

The Trail of Blood That Changed My Life

I was seven when a game of catch led to standing in a puddle of blood while my teenage neighbor lay dying. But I wasn’t too young to understand the stakes of “the life.”