HOUSTON, TX – On Independence Day, we celebrate freedom. And no one appreciates freedom perhaps as much as those who love someone that has lost theirs.
“Since 1972 there’s been a 800% increase in the amount of people incarcerated in this country. From 300,00 in 1972 to 2.3 million today,” explains Mike Allen with the “End Mass Incarceration” movement.
“Suppose you woke up in the morning, and you’re 9 years old. And your father’s in prison, and your mother works all the time trying to keep the strings together, and your friends do not understand that you have a parent in prison they do not understand from which your poverty comes,” says Ray Hill.
That’s why the Texas Inmate Families Association through the program “End Mass Incarceration” gathered children and family members of the incarcerated at Shape Park to celebrate the Fourth of July.
“Where you run into other kids just like yourself. Other kids going through that crisis. Other kids going through those issues. Suddenly you’re not “the other… suddenly you’re one of many…we’re building community here, in as much as we can do that,” Hill explains.
Today is about celebrating with those that understand… and having some fun. Because when that hammer falls, it’s not only those found guilty that get punished, the innocent suffer too.