“A Mothers Ordeal” – Chronicled by Sandy Banks, LA Times

On May 21st and 24th, Los Angeles Times writer Sandy Banks published a two-part article on a single mother’s struggle to regain custody after being arrested (the charges were later dropped). To read the full story on the Los Angeles Times website, click here.

As the Harriett Buhai Center currently has two programs dedicated to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated mothers,  we Thank Sandy Banks for her work highlighting
“the cascading effects of poverty, social isolation and inadequate personal resources on the stability of family.” At the Harriett Buhai  Center, our dedicated
team faces this struggle everyday and strives to empower people in need and eliminate poverty as a barrier to family stability.

The Center’s first project, Incarcerated Mothers, is a legal education program at the Los Angeles’ women’s jail located in Lynwood. At the end of each class women receive a certificate of completion and if women attend all three classes they are given a gold seal certificate showing completion of the course. Women who attend the classes are also provided
referrals to other resources that may be able to assist them with their various family law issues. The Center has received feedback from numerous women that
the class certificates were accepted by the Judge in their children’s court case as evidence that they were working on trying to reunify with their children even while incarcerated.

The Center’s second project, the Family Reunification Reentry Project, is a direct legal services and community legal education program that works with formerly incarcerated women. Through this project, the Center provides legal education workshops on custody and visitation principles to formerly incarcerated women at various residential shelters, drug treatment
programs, and mother-child programs. The workshop is designed to address the barriers that many of these women face to maintaining and re-building legal
relationships with their children as a result of their incarceration.

For more information on the Incarcerated Mothers Program or the Family Reunification Reentry Project: