P is for Prison: Sesame Street and Overpopulation in America's Jails

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

jail cell prison cell (TunnelBug/flickr)

One in twenty-eight children in America has a parent behind bars. And now, for the first time, a muppet does too. Last week, the beloved children's program Sesame Street announced a new initiative entitled "Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration". It's an online tool-kit complete with original Sesame Street clips, starring a new muppet named Alex, whose father is currently in prison. Alex has to explain to his friends why his dad isn't around to play with the other muppets and their fathers. The tool-kit also features tips for parents and caregivers to help their children cope with the transition.

Mike Riggs, an associate editor at Reason magazine, blogged about the topic last week, writing "Congratulations, America, on making it almost normal to have a parent in prison or jail." Riggs is concerned with the problem of overpopulation in jails and prisons. He thinks the Sesame Street program is helpful for families, but wishes we had addressed this problem as a country sooner, so a tool-kit like the one Sesame Street introduced wouldn't have been necessary.


Mike Riggs

Produced by:

Sally Bronston and Mythili Rao

Comments [1]

Angel from Miami FL

It will really be normal when we see a new demographic checkbox on forms: []Jailed-American.

Jun. 18 2013 10:15 AM

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