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10|A SENTENCE APART | Discussion Guide | BEFORE THE FILM Now Invite Participants to Consider the Following Facts: • Incarceration affects our communities, especially children. When thinking about popular media portrayals or news headlines of those behind bars, how many times did you think about the inmate’s family? • Incarceration Disproportionately Affects People of Color. • There is a strong link between lack of education and incarceration. • In 2007, 1.7 million children had a parent in prison on any given day. • The number of children with parents in prison increased 80% between 1991 and 2007. • 1 in 15 black children, 1 in 42 Latino children, and 1 in 111 white children had a parent in prison in 2007. • Black children are 7.5 times more likely and Latino children are 2.6 times more likely than are white children to have a parent in prison. • Two thirds of women in state prisons are mothers with a child under the age of 18. • 62% of parents in state prisons and 84% of parents in federal prisons are incarcerated more than 100 miles from their last residence, making it hard for family visits. • 59% of parents in state prisons and 45% in federal prisons have not had any personal visits with their children while in prison. • 38% of parents in prison did not have a high school diploma or GED. • One out of every three black males can expect to go to prison if current trends continue. Source: The Sentencing Project Reflection: Were any of these facts surprising? How many people changed their opinions, and why? What affect does this have on families? “I would use the following words to describe the current prison system ... because …” (examples: rehabilitation, successful at keeping our streets safe, growing too fast, broken) “Incarceration has/has not affected my life and family because …” (ask if they know someone who has ever been behind bars, how did it affect them?) “I believe people who are in prison are … because ...” (examples: there for a reason, deserve a second chance) After reading aloud a handful of statements from the basket, take a straw poll. Were most statements negative or positive? Were there statements that were conflicting or consistent? Ask the group if there were responses they agreed or disagreed with, and why? Ask the participants what were the biggest influences to their answers. Do they think they were making an informed opinion, or is there more they would like to learn? READALOUD READALOUD