More than 2 million American children will go to bed tonight with one of their parents locked up behind bars. And 60 percent of those little ones will one day end up there themselves.
It’s a sobering statistic that the Violence Prevention Coalition of Southwest Colorado is on a quest to change.
The effort started this week with a community discussion with former inmates and family members of people who are, or have been, incarcerated.
“I’ve seen my kid thrown to the ground and handcuffed,” one single mother, who declined to provide her name, said with tears welling in her eyes.
The mother said she doesn’t entirely understand the circumstances around her son’s latest arrest, which came while he was on parole after serving time for an “alcohol-related” conviction. But she does know what help he lacked after his last release and she often wonders if things might be different now if more support was available to him.
“Without the right help, I feel like there’s no chance for him to break this cycle,” the mother said.
She’s not alone in seeing gaps in aid and services for those trying to start anew after a run-in with the law.
It’s why more than a dozen local families attended a daylong event Thursday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds called “Breaking the Chains.”