The need for POPS the Club:
Mass incarceration affects not just those convicted of crimes but also their loved ones left behind. Our community experiences this loss as a “shared sentence.” Stigma and trauma are part of the fabric of the lives of 1 in 14 children in America who have faced this kind of separation. In just over 30 years the number of people in prison in the US has swelled from 350,000 to 1.5 million and disproportionately affects people of color and poor people. And yet the pain of the prison system for those left behind remains invisible. POPS the Club exists to serve teens who are enduring this pain. Established and maintained inside high schools nationwide, POPS provides a safe, nurturing space as well as tools for self-expression and self-empowerment. POPS students are resilient and courageous, and the clubs provide a platform to amplify their voices and visions.