A former ward of the New York Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), Tiffany McFadden, is up against the injustices suffered by incarcerated persons. She says prisoners suffer at the hands of correctional officers. So, she’s starting campaigns to deal with damage suffered by prison families.
According to an opinion piece McFadden wrote for USA TODAY, the family members and children of incarcerated persons suffer more hardships than the American government is willing to acknowledge.
And this is exclusive of the hardships and injustices many inmates are subjected to in correctional facilities. She is now mounting a number of campaigns to bring global attention and effective end to the systemic abuse occurring on both sides of the bar.
Tiffany McFadden Shares Her Story as a Prison Daughter
Born and raised in New York, Tiffany was 4 years old when her mother was sent to prison. She had three other brothers with one of them ultimately going to prison too.
Tiffany’s grandmother had also been a jailbird. She was taken at childhood to live with her aunt; but when she became too unruly and asked too many questions on why her mother was in prison, her aunt tired of her and dispatched her to the state for custody.
Tiffany eventually stayed in the custody of the New York Office of Children and Family Services for 17 and subsequently with several families at various points of her life.
And, these are just some of the issues she went through, much like the damage suffered by prison families in this country.
Former Foster Child Prevails After Damage Suffered by Prison Families
McFadden was able to get her GED at age 24 and went on to acquire a bachelor’s degree in English and ultimately a master’s degree in social work. She is now a project director for the CUNY Research Foundation; the logistical lead for March for Justice; and a volunteer for the Alliance of Families for Justice.
Having lost a mother and brother to the prison system, and lived most of her life in the custody of the state government, Tiffany revealed that children suffer untold hardships when any of their parents get bundled off to prison.
Considering the abandonment and psychological traumas kids of incarcerated parents are exposed to, it is not surprising that many of them go into crimes and end up in prisons too.
Tiffany’s brother Sequan Prude is a typical example of damage suffered by prison families.
Tiffany McFadden: “America ignores family and dependents of incarcerated individuals”
Tiffany lamented the fact that while the American government has preoccupied themselves with offenders in the criminal justice system, they have deliberately ignored the plights of the dependents of inmates.
“When America talks about the criminal justice system, the families of incarcerated people are rarely considered or mentioned,” she said. “When we are, we’re made to feel shame or guilt. But you rarely hear about how the children, parents and siblings of incarcerated people are harmed.”
To reduce the collateral damage suffered by relatives and children of incarcerated individuals, Tiffany has devoted her life to for their social causes.
To this end, she organizes a 19-day march for families of incarcerated persons and advocates for the support of prison families in whatever capacities. She also advocates for improvements in the criminal justice system to make prison experience more rehabilitative and corrective for inmates. It’s important that society take note of the damage suffered by prison families in America.