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I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 16 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and protected the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

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Sesame Street tells 2.7 million children they’re not alone

by Bernadette Rabuy, September 18, 2014

A couple of months ago, John Oliver did a hilarious episode on prisons including a scene in which Oliver sings about prisons with Sesame Street muppets. A few days ago, thanks to a tweet by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, we got to see another, animated video from the Sesame Street series, “Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration.”

It’s a heartbreaking video and also an opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of a child with an incarcerated parent. Along with a series of videos with muppets and real kids’ stories, the Sesame Street toolkit includes activities and tips for incarcerated parents, providers, and caregivers. We agree with John Oliver that it’s great to see Sesame Street addressing mass incarceration, but it’s beyond disturbing that our nation’s failed policies and practices leave more than 2.7 million children with an incarcerated parent.

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