Program offers ways for kids to break the cycle of crime

CHARLOTTE — The Families Doing Time program offers kids with parents who are incarcerated a way to break the cycle so they don’t find themselves in jail or prison, too.

“One person is not doing the time. The whole family is impacted by the incarceration of an individual,” said Dr. Kim Sexton-Lewter, who is with the Center for Community Transitions.

“We spend a lot of time trying to break that cycle of incarceration,” Sexton-Lewter said.

They spend a lot of time trying to prevent problems from starting, she said.

“Pregnancy prevention, dropout prevention, alcohol, and drug prevention -- all of the risk factors that would have somebody end up dealing with crime in their life,” she said.

For example, a group of children who have a parent incarcerated created a piece of art.

More than 20 kids participated, and the art will be auctioned off during the 2nd Art Auction for Second Chances on June 11 from noon until 3 p.m. at the Mint Museum Uptown.

>>CLICK HERE for more information on the auction.

“I think they will be very proud,” Sexton-Lewter said. “I think they will be very proud to know this was a piece created from their work their imagination.”

Friday was the start of Gun Violence Prevention Month.

“Too many lives are being taken at the hands of someone pulling the trigger senselessly,” parent Clydia Hemingway said Friday.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and community leaders gathered to talk about the grim statistics.

So far this year, there have been 2,300 gun-related crimes resulting in 27 deaths, three of the victims were children.

“We have to ask ourselves why is this acceptable?” said Willie Ratchford, with the CMPD Community Relations Department. “Why are we allowing this to happen?”

The Center for Community Transitions helps former inmates with life skills and job training and employers who are willing to give them a second chance.

VIDEO: CMPD, Charlotte leaders focus on solutions to gun violence in Queen City

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