WQED’s ‘Serving Time, Too’ explores struggles of inmates’ children
The latest WQED-TV documentary delves into the lives of children of incarcerated parents.
Two million American children have at least one parent in jail or prison. In Allegheny County, there are 7,000, and the numbers are growing, WQED reports.
Children become the invisible victims, and are the subject of WQED’s multi-platform project, including the documentary “Serving Time, Too.”
The documentary premieres at 8 p.m. May 23 on WQED-TV, followed at 8:30 p.m. by “The Children of Incarcerated Parents: A Community Forum,” a live discussion program from the Fred Rogers Studio.
The documentary will rebroadcast at 7:30 p.m. May 27.
The documentary addresses the struggles — emotional, financial and behavioral — children face, and explores ways in which correctional facilities, the courts and nonprofits are working to make things better.
“Serving Time, Too,” features:
• Jahonna Lipscomb, a college student whose father was incarcerated three times during her growing-up years;
• Keondre McCaskill, a high school student whose father is serving life with no parole at SCI Forest;
• Charlotte Helms, Keondre’s grandmother, who works to keep Keondre and her son (the inmate) connected, through visits and phone calls;
• Olivia Allison, a CAPA high school student whose father spent much of her childhood in prison for drug-related offenses;
• Ed Allison, Olivia’s father, who has not seen his daughter in more than four years. He continues to struggle with addiction and regrets what incarceration did to her.
The documentary includes a family visitation day at the Allegheny County Jail, with interviews of inmates interacting with their children and the children’s caregivers.
Community advocates featured in the documentary include Anna Hollis, executive director of Amachi Pittsburgh, a nonprofit that provides support and service to children of incarcerated parents; Judge Kimberly Clark, Allegheny County family court judge who works to keep families together while a parent is incarcerated; Amy Kroll, support worker at the Allegheny County Jail.
Online vignettes at wqed.org/incarcerated present statistics on children of incarcerated families, input from children affected by parents in prison, and how prisons are helping to keep families connected.
Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .