We’ve Been Sentenced is a community action project dedicated to healing and strengthening emotional connections among families affected by mass incarceration.
Founded by Kamika Hebbert, who’s lived her entire life with family members in the California prison system, We’ve Been Sentenced is a way to use her past experiences and first-hand knowledge to help others. Through letter-writing campaigns, personal appearances and youth workshops, the project helps create and maintain positive social and emotional health for those living with a family member’s incarceration.
Family Over Everything. Even Prison Walls.
What if your mother were in prison? And your brothers? And your childhood sweetheart, too. What if you had 16 close relatives who were incarcerated, many of them cycling in and out of prison?
From the time she was a toddler, this has been Kamika’s’ life. But legacy is not destiny, and in Kamika’s mind, it's family over everything. At the age of 9, she started writing letters to her imprisoned relatives. Hundreds of loving letters, throughout her childhood, teenage years and into young adulthood – letters that were validating for all involved but often emotionally overwhelming for Kamika.
“We’ve Been Sentenced” is the story of those letters, giving us a rare look at incarceration from the viewpoint of the family members whose lives go on outside prison walls, full of loss and longing. Alternately inspiring and heartbreaking, Kamika’s story brings new relevance and much-needed context to the current national conversation about criminal justice reform. “
We’ve Been Sentenced,” 16 minutes, 14 seconds.