For three years, Emancipate NC has partnered with the NAACP of Wilson County and the Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE) on a project to reduce child trauma by reducing pretrial incarceration of caregivers in Wilson County, NC. This project is supported by the In Our Backyards program of the Vera Institute for Justice. Last month, we reported that our advocacy and partnerships have resulted in a dramatic decrease in the Wilson County jail population.

This month, Dawn Blagrove and Dr. Carol White traveled to the In Our Backyards conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They presented on the findings of the NAACP’s survey of public school children in Wilson, their experiences with caregiver incarceration, and their symptoms of trauma and stress. Our work draws a clear link between child welfare and ending the mass incarceration of adults. When an adult caregiver is incarcerated, children often experience shock, stress, shame, and disruption of bonded relationships, food regularity, home setting, and school setting. 

We cannot take care of our children if we do not take care of adults.