Most moms say we'd do just about anything to protect our children. But how far is too far?
Juanita, who we meet in the latest installment of Moms Behind Bars, landed pretty far on the other side of that line. Some guy bumped into her toddler daughter on the street, and the little girl fell down and was bleeding. Rather than yell at the guy and then calm down and tend to her daughter, Juanita went off. She screamed at him, hit him, cut his face (I'm going to guess with a knife), and pretty much lost her mind, including hiding in an abandoned building with her daughter after the assault until the cops went away and then going on the run for a few days.
She was already wanted for robbery and assault, so when the cops caught her, she got a long sentence: 25 years. And she's been trying to parent her kids from prison ever since.
We also meet her daughter, Chastity, who is in high school now and doing well despite a few blips. She talks about how seeing her mom once a month is better than nothing ... and wipes away tears while she says it. I wonder if going nuclear on some guy who hurt her daughter was worth it to Juanita, since she's ended up hurting her daughter far more by not being there for her. You can see the love she feels for Chastity; it radiates from the scenes where we see them together. And sadly, the prison social worker tells us that despite being imprisoned, Juanita has been the most consistent person in Chastity's life.
And to me that's exactly why programs like the one we've been following at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility are so important. These women have made enormous mistakes, but it doesn't mean they aren't capable of loving their children. Their children, on the other hand, love and need their mothers in whatever way they can have them. Maintaining that relationship is good for both sides, even when mom has made some serious mistakes and is not a role model.
Watch their story, and tell us what you think.
How far would you go to protect your child?
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