“The Boy Is the Father of Whatever”: I Review Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood”

at AmCon: About an hour and a half into Richard Linklater’s memorable new film, my notes say, “This is RIVETING.” Exactly one hour later, as the movie finally ceased (“ended” is too strong, too decisive), I breathed a sigh of relief. What went wrong to turn the movie from startling, luminous journey into boring, platitudinous slog? Linklater’s movie has gained a lot of press for one of those gimmicks which hide deep meaning under their showy surface, like the delays in Hamlet. … [Read more...]

“The Criminalization of Parenthood”: Radley Balko

again some more: A couple of themes we explore here at The Watch are the increasing criminalization of just about everything and the use of the criminal justice system to address problems that were once (and better) handled by families, friends, communities and other institutions. A few examples from recent headlines show those themes intersecting with parenthood. The first story comes from South Carolina, where a mother was jailed and charged with “unlawful conduct toward a child” … [Read more...]

Tenn. Mother Charged with Assault for Drug Use While Pregnant: ThinkProgress

uses an unnecessarily tendentious headline, but these laws really are a bad idea, as I discussed here: At the beginning of July, 26-year-old Mallory Loyola gave birth to a baby girl. Two days later, the state of Tennessee charged her with assault. Loyola is the first woman to be arrested under a new law in Tennessee that allows the state to criminally charge mothers for potentially causing harm to their fetuses by using drugs. The legislation, which officially took effect about a week ago, … [Read more...]

“10 Photography Projects on Prisons… Recently Added to the Web”

Via PrisonCulture: ...Mae Ryan‘s series on the Community Prisoner Mother Program in Pomona, California was one of the last assignment’s she made before moving from KPCC to The Guardian. And it is stand out. Pregnant in Prison offers a look at a select group of minimum security prisoners who may live with their young children until the child turns seven years old. Mothers live with their children in rooms shared with other prisoners. During the day, children are enrolled in the … [Read more...]

“A Stillborn Child Leads to a Murder Charge”: Me at AmCon

on an awful, years-long case: In 2006, 15-year-old Rennie Gibbs became pregnant. She tested positive for marijuana and cocaine during her pregnancy. Her daughter Samiya was born a month premature, with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. An autopsy on the child found traces of a cocaine byproduct, and Rennie was charged with murder—or rather, with what Mississippi calls “depraved heart murder,” signifying an especially callous crime. Gibbs’s case has wound its way through the … [Read more...]

“Parenting from Prison: The Collateral Damage of Harsh Mandatory Sentences”

from the Deseret News: ...Stephanie and her kids were on the edge of an incarceration wave that pulled in thousands of parents and hundreds of thousands of children at the end of the last century. In 1991 there were 936,500 minor children with a parent in state or federal prison. By the end of 1999, there were 1,498,800, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics — more than a 50 percent leap in less than a decade. ... But even if Stephanie was guilty as charged, her sentence would by … [Read more...]

“Five Useless Pieces of Advice Everyone Gives New Parents”: The great Christina H

at Cracked: ...Even when these deprivations do come true for you, it's much easier to cope with them one at a time as they crop up. You simply encounter the problem, you go, "Arrrrrgh, nnnngh, I didn't know I was going to have to deal with this, everything sucks, life sucks, I don't believe in God anymore," and then a week later you get used to it and you're like, "OK, I guess this is part of the routine now, whatever." I know that, when I was a kid, if someone had told me that when I grew … [Read more...]


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