Do I Have to Stand for This?

Kimberly Burke

in Interrupted Life

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780520252493
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944565 | DOI:
Do I Have to Stand for This?

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This chapter describes in searing detail a child's-eye view of parental authority while at a visiting center. In 2002, the author was visited by her seven-year-old son for the first time since she had been incarcerated three years previously. Both mother and son were excited, but their moment was ruined by the prison guard, who rudely told the boy to stay in his seat whenever he tried to get up. Humiliation crept over the author as she realized she could do nothing about it. When she asked her son if he wanted to come again to visit her, he hung his head and said no. This incident, the author believes, will remain in his memory every time he thinks of his prison visit. It is 2008 at the time of writing, and since this incident the author still has not seen her son, who is thirteen. The prison guard was ultimately put on extensive probation and soon after fired for her treatment of the author's son.

Keywords: parental authority; prison guard; prison; humiliation; prison visit

Chapter.  1138 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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