Locked Apart // Locked Apart: The Koger-Harris Family

“The Koger-Harris Family” 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.

In this family, William Koger, the father, lives with his mother, Sandra Koger, and three boys – Isaiah, Demetri, and Deshawn – just outside the nation’s capital. But it was the absence of the mother, Sherrie Harris, who was imprisoned for ten years starting in 2006, that loomed over the household. The children were emotionally scarred by their mother’s absence and sometimes acted out. Only when pressed did they express their intense yearning for their mother to come home and provide them with the love they are missing. In December 2016, Sherrie Harris was released from prison to a residential facility, or “halfway house,” and the three boys started to visit her on weekends.