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Watch Kids Read Moving Love Letters To Their Incarcerated Dads

“I can’t wait for you to be out here, and for us to try to make up the past 13 years.”

It was difficult for some of the 2.7 million kids in the U.S. who have an incarcerated parent to celebrate Father’s Day.

That’s why Google, in partnership with NGOs Pops the Club and Place4Grace, gave a few kids the opportunity to express themselves to their fathers in jail or prison through digital love letters. 

The #LoveLetters were compiled into a video on June 17:

“The first thing I want to do with you when you get home is play basketball. I just want to hang out and talk to you,” one boy says in the video below. 

A teen expresses how badly she wants her dad back in her life by simply saying:

“I can’t wait for you to be out here, and for us to try to make up the past 13 years.”

According to Google, the video is part of the company’s continued efforts to humanize the costs of mass incarceration and raise awareness about racial injustice.

"At Google, we like disruption and if there is a system worth disrupting, it's the criminal justice system,” David Drummond, the vice president of corporate development, Alphabet, said during a criminal justice forum that was held at Google New York, earlier this week.

In 2009, Human Rights Watch released a report that stated that from 1980 to 2007, one in three drug arrests in the U.S. were of people who are black. The report also showed that most of those arrests were for possession.

In 2014, Kristin Turney, a University of California-Irvine sociologist, conducted a study that found that kids with a parent who is in jail or prison are more likely to develop attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, behavioral or conduct problems, learning disabilities, speech or other language problems and developmental delays. The study also found that these kids are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

Google wants to help strengthen bonds between kids and their incarcerated parents by creating these digital loves letters to dads on Father’s Day and moms on Mother’s Day. The hope is that by raising awareness of the impact of mass incarceration on kids may help change it.

To learn about criminal justice reform legislation now going through Congress, visit sentencingproject.org, vera.org, or brennancenter.org.

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