Parenting in Prison: A Love Story

William Anderson, then 64, breathes a tiny sigh of relief when he sees his youngest son, Naeem, sitting across the table from him. His son looks back with the same wide brown eyes he’s always remembered. At 23, Naeem (a pseudonym, as are all the names of the family members in this article) still has a baby face, more pronounced now that he’s clean-shaven, his coiled locks no longer sprouting wildly from his head. Unlike the many times before, however, he isn’t visiting his father in prison; this day, he’s housed in the same facility. William and Naeem have only this one face-to-face visit to connect in real time before Naeem embarks on his own long sentence. William hopes to mentally and emotionally prepare his son for “the life inside.”