In honor of the mothers nation-wide struggling for justice for their incarcerated or formerly incarcerated children, IPS re-releases its 2016 report Mothers at the Gate: How a powerful family movement is transforming the juvenile justice system.

Mass incarceration is one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time. It’s not just millions of adults, but also staggering numbers of children, who are roped into the criminal justice system.

Civil rights battles in the United States have historically been led by those most affected. Now the mothers of incarcerated children are making history.

This report reflects an initial effort to map a movement of family members — particularly mothers — that aims to challenge both the conditions in which their loved ones are held and the fact of mass incarceration itself,  and to distill the shared wisdom of its leaders.

Mothers at the Gate, produced with the financial support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation,  looks inside this emerging movement to find first-hand accounts, strategies, and needs of family members in their individual and collective work to transform an unjust juvenile justice system.

“If you want to make change in a community, you go to the women,” The New Jim Crow author Michelle Alexander has said. That is what we have done in researching this report.

You can read more about some of the movement’s recent struggles and successes in this op ed in Newsweek by report co-author Karen Dolan.

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