The Divide - Photography by Raymond Thompson Jr.
Vernissage / The artist is present / Free admission
A Portrayal of Collateral Damage of Incarceration on Families in the United States
Volunteers organized a van trip for families of inmates incarcerated at Red Onion State Prison and Wallens Ridge State Prison, which are located near the border of Kentucky in Wise County, Virginia. These supermax prisons are approximately 30 miles apart. Most of the people making the trip are from Virginia urban centers: Washington D.C., Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Richmond, and Roanoke.
Incarcerated men and women often do not serve their time alone. The impact of their incarceration reverberates back to the communities from which they were removed. Most inmates are incarcerated more than 100 miles from their homes. The barriers to visiting an incarcerated loved one can be high.
According to a study published in Crime and Delinquency, written by Joshua Cochran, Daniel Mears, and William Bales, the average inmate only received 2.1 visits over the course of their entire sentence.
The combination of distance, lack of transportation, missed days of work, and organizing childcare can be too much for some people to overcome. For inmates, not receiving visits while incarcerated can have “collateral consequences” that damage social ties to family and community.
Raymond Thompson Jr. lends his skillset as a documentary photographer to West Virginia University where he works as a multimedia specialist producing video and photographic content for digital and print publications. He received his master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Texas at Austin after completing his undergraduate in American Studies from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.
His work has been featured on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, NBC News, The New York Times, and USA Today. Thompson lives in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Raymond Thompson Jr. will be present - artist talk with Helen Gibson, John-F.-Kennedy-Institute, Freie Universität Berlin.
Exhibition duration: Sunday, January 28, till Thursday, March 29, 2018
Organizer: Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations
Kindly supported by Amerikahaus Verein
(Photo: ©Raymond Thompson Jr.)
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