Locked Apart // Locked Apart: Kiya

“Kiya” is one installment of a comprehensive documentary project called “Locked Apart: The Impact of Incarceration on Families,” that portrays the very intimate stories of families negatively impacted by incarceration. While there is growing attention to the issue of mass incarceration in the United States, which imprisons more of its population than any nation in the world, little attention is paid to the impact on children. More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent, and 10 million youths have had a parent incarcerated at some point.

When Kiya’s father received a long prison sentence and her mother was unable to care for her, Kiya entered the foster care system along with her brother Tyshawn. Kiya and Tyshawn joined the Spicer family and made a new friend in foster sister Gabrielle. Kiya was thriving at home and at school when her father asked for her to be moved to live with Kiya’s aunt. Instead, Kiya was separated from her brother and moved from one foster care situation to another in rapid succession, losing touch with the Spicers and with her friends from school.

Kiya’s story is also captured in the collaborative video Six Voices, which you can access here.