About Lets Saidiana

Our Mission: To develop various literature,  arts and media productions as well as  family training programs examining the effects of incarceration  on children, youth, families and communities – and to rally support for this often forgotten group.

“None of us has gotten where we are solely by pulling ourselves up  from our own bootstraps.  We got here because somebody bent down and helped us.”

–Thurgood Marshall

“A silk garment allowed to unravel over time will be destroyed. If reworked . . . it can be reinforced and strengthened.  Families are like silk – the making of which is a lengthy process demanding constant close attention.”

Doris I. Mangrum

“The punishment that was designed to restrict the lives and livelihood of people and their families long after their debt  to society has been paid is coming back to haunt us and beginning to restrict our lives and livelihood as well.”

Doris I. Mangrum

Welcome to Saidiana which in Swahili means help one another. This website was launched to bring attention to the plight of families affected by incarceration and the need for those of us who are able to – TO DO SOMETHING. It is my hope that those of you who visit and share a similar concern will tell others so that we can move together. As other materials are launched to call attention to the many needs of the families on the outside, it is my desire to make more people aware of the fact that it is not only the person who has done the crime that does the time, but also the family left behind as well as the entire community who suffer when we do nothing. We must stop treating the families left behind  like  liabilities, but instead recognize and value them for the great resources they are.  They are key in helping to solve our recidivism problem, and we must stop overlooking their importance.

The prevailing perception that we need to lock people up and throw away the key just does not work. Ninety percent of the people who are incarcerated will be coming back home. Research has shown that families that receive assistance are more likely to manage the very challenging transition when a nuclear family member is incarcerated. When we do nothing we are literally throwing away the key on the families and the affected communities where formerly incarcerated individuals will return. When the incarcerated know that their families are being helped it makes their time smoother and everybody wins. While it’s true that some will refuse assistance, they are in the minority. Most reintegrating individuals want help for themselves and their families. A long journey begins by taking the first step. We have tried doing nothing and that didn’t work – so let’s Saidiana and make things happen to move our world into its rightful position where all people who need help get it. Imagine that.