What If….

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How Did You Get Here? It is a question I have answered and threaded throughout Real Life of an MSW. Therefore, I was happy to learn it is the core question of Kim Boguck’s the If Project and her documentary titled The If Project asks female inmates how they got there. Boguck started the project after she was asked to work with a group of girls whose mothers were incarcerated. Out of respect and to break the cycle of the generational curse that often surrounds many families, she was interested in meeting with the girls’ mothers first and asking their permission — and a version of her question. Her question was “If there was something somebody could have said or done to change the path that led you here, what would it be?”

When I read the following words of an inmate “I wish someone had told me that 10 seconds would cost me 10 years”, I could feel her insight. Some people get judged on the one thing they did for the rest of their lives. I am a firm believer that when you know better, you will learn to do better. Like Boguck, “I’m not saying, ‘Let everyone out of prison,’ and I don’t want to take away from a victim’s experience,” but hopefully, we are preventing future victims as this question is being asked of the next generation.

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