Kids are an invisible presence in most prisons. One national survey cited in a state of Ohio report on parents in prison finds more than 2 percent of white children have multiple family members in prison—that jumps to 16 percent for black children.
Parenting came up a lot during WYSO’s Community Voices class at Dayton Correctional Institution, the west side women’s prison which is one of just three women’s facilities in the state. LaShae Landry, a young mother, is interviewed by Nikkia Sullivan:
Highlights from the audio:
“You know how you’re a little girl and you play house, and you got this baby doll and you have a boyfriend, or girlfriend, or whatever. It was like I was doing that but I was grown. I didn’t know what my future looked like, honestly, I didn’t have any dreams or goals or any plans on where I was headed.”
“She was the one person who made me look at it in a different perspective. She promised me that if I had my daughter she would be there for me always. So I kind of took a chance on that.”
“It’s just crazy how one day I was thinking about getting rid of her, and now today and everyday, she’s the only thing I wake up thinking about.”
Women’s Voices from Dayton Correctional Institution is a series of stories based on WYSO’s Community Voices class at the prison on the west side. WYSO selected 10 incarcerated women through a competitive application process, and taught them interviewing, storytelling and recording skills. The series is produced and mixed by managing editor Lewis Wallace and Community Voices producer Renee Wilde, with volunteer support from Community Voices graduate Dr. Venita Kelley and editorial input from general manager Neenah Ellis.