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Children with Parents in Prison

02/13/08 12:36PM By Jane Lindholm
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An estimated 4,500 Vermont children per year experience the trauma of having a parent in prison. In single parent households the effects are particularly devastating. Advocates say children "orphaned" by the criminal justice system are more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, rage and addiction, and may be more likely to commit crimes. But a coalition of advocates and lawmakers are hoping to reverse that cycle. We talk about it with Tara Graham of the Vermont Children's Aid Society, and Burlington Representative Jason Lorber, who has just introduced legislation that would create a Bill of Rights for children of incarcerated parents. (Listen)

Also, we visit a "coffee cupping" hosted by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and featuring some of the company's coffee producers from Central and South America. It’s something like a wine tasting, in which coffees are painstakingly evaluated for fragrance, aroma, acidity, body and finish. (Listen)

And, just in time for Valentine's Day, we preview a reading of the A.R. Gurney play "Love Letters," to be performed in Weston this Saturday by Weston octogenarian Sam Lloyd and his wife Barbara. (Listen)

Note: Love Letters will be performed on Saturday, February 16, at 7:30 P.M. at Weston's Old Parish Church. For reservations, call 802 824-3669.

Comments from Listeners

Christine from Montpelier
Thanks for bringing the challenges these children face to light.

Victoria from Burlington It's important we keep in mind that this issue is incredibly important in this day and age because as a nation we are incarcerating people at numbers never seen before. We are in the middle of a tough on crime age which has stimulated a trend of mass incarceration, thus affecting more and more children. As a society that frames punishment against crime in terms of taking responsibility for your actions, then we as a society must too take responsibility for the kids affected by our policies and actions.


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