Sesame Street Teaches Kids About Incarceration


We talked a lot about the criminal justice system and prison industrial complex, especially as it pertains to black youth. The astronomical number of people who have been incarcerated and the effects their imprisonment has on those individuals, their families, and the communities they leave and sometimes return to is part of that discussion. Yet we often ignore the way that children are impacted by this. Sesame Street has made headlines recently for including incarceration as part of their “Little Children, Big Problems” series:

The long-running PBS children’s education show launched the ‘Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration’ educational program earlier this week.

Organizers say the campaign is aimed at helping kids aged three to eight in the U.S., which has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

A toolkit of resources has been uploaded onto the Sesame Street website including videos, printable brochures, eBooks and apps.

‘The incarceration of a loved one can be very overwhelming for both children and caregivers,’ reads a message on the website. ‘Here are some tools to help you with the changes your child is going through.’

Read more at The Daily Mail.

Dear Thurgood Marshall Jr, Why Are You On The Board Of Directors For CCA?

By Kim Moore


This serves as both an open letter to Thurgood Marshall Jr, a PSA for those who didn’t know about his appointment to CCA and a reminder about mass incarceration, and the overrepresentation of black men in prison.

It came as a complete and utter shock to discover yesterday that Thurgood Marshall Jr, son of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and lawyer best known for his victory in Brown v. Board of Education, sits on the Board of Directors for the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison owning company in the United States.

“What’s the big deal?” you ask? Well, in order to understand the irony we must look at the incarceration rates of black men, private prisons and CCA.

Open Society Foundations Announce 2013 Soros Justice Fellows

NEW YORK – The Open Society Foundations has announced an award of $1.2 million to the 2013 cohort of Soros Justice Fellows. The fellows, a mix of emerging and established leaders, include investigative journalists, lawyers, grassroots organizers, policy advocates, and scholars. Working in 9 different states and Puerto Rico, the 14 fellows will take on a range of U.S. reform issues that relate to broader Open Society efforts to curb mass incarceration, eliminate harsh punishment, and ensure justice system accountability in the U.S.

“Given the enormous challenges posed by the current realities of the criminal justice system in the United States, the importance of new voices and re-examination of its premises remains critical. I am excited to announce the 2013 Soros Justice Fellows whose efforts are fundamental to the types of changes that are needed to produce a fair, effective, and efficient system,” said Ken Zimmerman, director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations. “We welcome their commitment, creativity, and vision.”