About a month ago, I watched one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. Well, at least it’s the one I could relate to the most. It’s called “Who Cares About Girls?: Daughters Left Behind” by Lisa Ling (2007).
This documentary touches on how the incarceration of a mother effects the everyday lives and well-being of their children. It follows a few girls as they prepare for and during visits with their moms in prison. What was so touching to me was how strong these girls had to appear to be, even though they were truly hurting inside about not being able to be “with” their moms.
I was amazed to find out that there are still people and organizations out there that care about these girls and their futures. If this documentary does nothing else, it reinforces the idea that these girls need to see, talk to, spend time with, and touch their mothers. This maternal nurturing is key to the way they choose to handle the situation today, and in their futures.
As the daughter of a prisoner, I truly can relate to these girls. It actually brought out the “mommy’s little girl” inside me as I sat there crying for and with these girls. It made me take the time to thank God that my mother was not in prison when I was a little girl. As an adult, I am able to handle it better. But, I still have to admit: I really miss having my mother “in” my life.
Storyline of “Who Cares About Girls?: Daughters Left Behind”
If a mother is in prison, what happens to her children?
Women are being arrested, tried and convicted in record numbers-and the majority of women in prison are mothers. Since mothers are often the primary or sole caregivers to their children, their incarceration can destroy a family. The displacement and separation from their mothers can take a serious toll on the children left behind. Children with parents in prison run a high risk of ending up in jail themselves and often suffer from a host of psychological problems, from shame and anger to depression and abandonment issues.
Journalist Lisa Ling sets out to find out what life is like for the daughters of women behind bars and how ‘the system’ helps or hinders them. We’ll explore new programs attempting to help break the cycle of imprisonment from mother to daughter. We’ll visit with Jessica and Yasmin whose mothers are in prison – one in Shakopee Women’s Prison in Minnesota.
The information above was taken from IMDb.