This card was made for a Drug War POW by her son.
Families without children are targeted by the Drug Warriors, as well. Click here to read about a couple who havebeen separated by the US INS officials over a 30-year old marijuana arrest.
Sources: 1996 Prison Law Project of the National Lawyers Guild. 1995, Bureau of Justice statistics
Photo: Jodie's children, Tracy, Laura and Richard.
"I have four children who all live with family, but in separate homes and towns. My oldest son lives with my husband's mother. My husband draws beautiful pictures and my little son keeps each and every one of them in a box, three years worth. One night, he asked his grandma if he could sleep with the box. She went into his room later, and he had fallen asleep with his arm over the box... the only real part of his father he knows."
Nancy Simmons' twins spent their
first birthday in the prison
visiting room with their mother.
The women are the "hidden body count" and their children are the "unseen victims." Children of prisoners lose one or both of their parents, forcing them to fend for themselves, to be taken in by relatives, or to live in foster homes. Brothers and sisters are often separated from each other in the breakup of their families. Asset forfeitures seize family homes, cars, and savings, leaving many families homeless with no transportation - and no money.
Too often, children watch in horror as DEA agents break down their front door, throw their parents to the floor and aim guns at their heads. The children themselves are frequently kept at gun point for hours.
"I am serving this ten year sentence in a Minimum Security Prison. They call it a Prison Camp. I am such a danger to society that I am in a prison that has no fences, no bars, no prison cell. There are only one to two officers on the compound that are watching (baby-sitting) us. Some 300 to 325 women are here.
"Everyday when my children are spread apart from each other, someone is preparing their daily meal at dinner time. About 400 miles away, their mother is sitting on a bunk bed, listening to music, crocheting, reading, writing a letter or just relaxing ... something is terribly wrong with this picture. There are other alternatives to this situation; solutions that would benefit the welfare of the children."
"My children are the ones that are suffering the most. My son, Stanley, always asked me, 'Mama, when are you coming home?' I replied, 'Soon.' After six years he said, 'Mama, soon sure takes a long, long time.' "
She has been deprived of her child's early development years;