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Tre Maison Dasan (2019)Tre Maison Dasan (2019)

In the last thirty years America's prison population has skyrocketed from 300,000 to more than two million. About 7.3 million Americans are under some form of penal control: jail, prison, parole, or probation. Our incarceration rates dwarf those of other developing countries, including Russia, China, and Iran. Germany, for example, imprisons about 93 of every 100,000 adults; in America we imprison 750 per 100,000. This documentary film from the PBS "Independent Lens" series explores the most forgotten people in this national nightmare — the 1 in 14 children in the United States who have a parent in prison. These children grow up without their inmate-parent, which parent is often demonized by society. The children are often seen as guilty by association, that they too are bad people. Of course, for the kids, the inmate is always just their mom or dad. The film follows three children. Dasan Lopes is six years old. His mother is transitioning back into society with the help of her social worker, parole officer, and the local cub scout troop. Maison Teixeira (11) is a brilliant little boy who has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. His grandmother is holding things together "for four and a half more years" while his father is in prison and his mother is in California. Tre Janson is only thirteen, but he's already on probation and faces jail time. On Saturdays there are two-hour unmediated visits at the prison, which visits are full of tears of joy and sorrow that will break your heart right in two.

Dan Clendenin:

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