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What Will Happen to Me

What Will Happen to Me

5.0 1
by Howard Zehr, Lorraine S Amstutz

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          What is life like for a child who has a parent in prison? This book brings together photographic portraits of 30 children whose parents are incarcerated, along with their thoughts and reflections, in their own words. As Taylor says, "I want other kids to know that, even though your parents are locked up,


          What is life like for a child who has a parent in prison? This book brings together photographic portraits of 30 children whose parents are incarcerated, along with their thoughts and reflections, in their own words. As Taylor says, "I want other kids to know that, even though your parents are locked up, they're not bad people. "And I want them to know that we'll get through it. As long as we have someone there to help us, we can get through it. It makes you stronger."           The material in "What Will Happen to Me?" has been gathered and written by two nationally-recognized experts. Howard Zehr is known around the world as the "grandfather of restorative justice." He lectures and consults internationally on that topic and related issues. He is currently a member of the Victims Advisory Group of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.           Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz travels the U.S. doing mediation work in severe crime cases. She provides consulting and training for agencies and communities seeking to implement programs of restorative justice. This book of portraits and text includes: Reflections of several grandparents who are unexpectedly parenting children whose parents are incarcerated. "Ten Questions Often Asked by Children." "Dealing with Emotions"—including grief and loss, shame and stigma, anger and isolation. Resources for "Staying in Touch," "Finding Moments of Celebration," "Adjusting to a Parent's Return," "Self-Care for Family Caregivers," and "Suggestions for Third-Party Caregivers." "The Children's Bill of Rights," along with thoughtful consideration about how to apply restorative justice and respect for relationships in these difficult situations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Sometimes when I'm alone, I sit there and look up and close my eyes and think, ‘If he were here, what would happen?‘ I would have had my full life. It's just half now." These sobering words from teenager Cassandra are typical of the devastating accounts included in Zehr and Amstutz's portraits of American children who have at least one incarcerated parent. Zehr's portraits are compassionate and ennobling and, though often cursory, the text from the children and caregivers is heartbreaking and thought-provoking; more complete portraits would have given a better understanding of the gravity of the situation facing these children, and the inclusion of more basic facts (the length of a parent's incarceration; the severity of a sentence) would have moved these subjects from victims to people. When specifics are given, as with a caregiver who notes that all she wants for her birthday is to "go out on the mountain for two hours by myself," the gravity of the situation becomes haunting. Photos. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Children of incarcerated parents are consumed with questions, mainly what will happen to them. The authors' thesis is that the outcome of their lives impacts us all. Additionally, anyone working in the social work, teaching, or healthcare fields will most likely be working with some of these "approximately three million" children at some point. In part one, the statements from the children interviewed are accompanied by full-color photo portraits. What comes through is that they all love their parents unequivocally, but here it is tangible and poignant both in their words and faces. They are hopeful for their parents' return, and for their own lives to be successful without the blight of prison. Part two offers advice for caregivers and includes 10 questions often asked by children whose parents are in jail. Both the children and their families are not only experiencing physical separation but also the attendant shame as reflected in their treatment by adults and schoolmates. The authors are firm believers in restorative justice and draw the connection (along with giving suggestions) that the right kind of support can prevent multigenerational perpetrators of crime who fall into such patterns due to lack of support and resources.—Meredith Toumayan, The Governor's Academy, Byfield, MA

Product Details

Skyhorse Publishing
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8.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.20(d)

Meet the Author

Howard Zehr is widely known as “the grandfather of restorative justice.” Since 1996 he has been Professor of Restorative Justice at the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA, an international graduate program for justice and peacebuilding practitioners. Howard has published several other portrait/interview books including Doing Life: Reflections of Men and Women Serving Life Sentences and Transcending: Reflections of Crime Victims (both with Good Books). He has authored numerous other books and publications; best known are The Little Book of Restorative Justice (Good Books) and Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice. He is a frequent speaker and consultant on justice issues in North America and internationally. Zehr has also worked professionally as a photographer.

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What Will Happen to Me 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
TheRomerReviewer More than 1 year ago
Incarceration is no joke, and often it has become status quo for wrong doers to be meted out punishment for their misdeeds. But what about the children who are faced with growing up without parents who will not be their for them? Is it conceivable too, to say that there's problematic issues with the fact that at least 3 million children (an counting!) who have one or both parents in prison? They face, and are dealing with challenges and hardships through their own voices, and by way of the caregivers, grandparents, teachers, school counselors and social workers who are raising and interacting with them daily. Their stories and thoughts are unique. Authors Howard Zehr and Lorraine Stutzman-Amstutz decided it wasn't robbery to give voice, visibility and vitality to these oft-forgotten children in their superb book, 'What Will Happen To Me?' Not least of which shouldn't be understated are the importance also of the portraits supplied by Mr. Zehr as adjunct photographer bolstering the impact of the visual effects to the subject matter therein. What Will Happen To Me are the effects of how unfortunate circumstances and the unforgiving policies in the judiciary system can have adverse ramifications on families that are suffering the consequences. Sobering words and heartfelt lamentations abound from what has been showcased in this book. The authors were erudite in capturing not only the essence of what research methodology is supposed to be when exposing accumulative data, but also quite proficient in suggesting relative topical issues and strategies that may be beneficial to both the children and others associated with this malady. Part one deals with various statements from children interviewed juxtaposed with full-color poignancy. If a picture is akin to a 1,000 words then you will be mesmerized with expressions that can't be ignored. The faces of the children with their stories are powerful! The message is the hope for change, and the need for the public to embrace their plight. Part two offers a look into what the caregivers are going through and information given for them which includes 10 questions that are obvious prompts that offer extensions to mindsets of children who are victimized by the circumstances surrounding incarcerated parents. These questions are typical of the breath and depth of what should be apropos for levels of commitment to rectify consequences relative to experiences associated with ill-treatments from schoolmates, familial attachments, adults who are ambivalent to their plight, and from those who are concerned but mired in the bureaucratic malaise that often accompany the judiciary system. Part three covers the topic as it pertains preventive measures and a sense of jurisprudence where t communities can, and should be working to restore corrective initiatives to help than hinder. I rated the book 5 stars -- go out and buy it where good books are sold!