Kaywonda Banks sits in an unmarked olive green van parked near Barclays Center, two full bags of food and house supplies between her legs and her 8-year-old son in the seat next to her.
This is the starting point for her four-hour, roughly 100-mile trip into the mountains of New York, where her husband, Javon, is incarcerated at the Otisville Correctional Facility.
Maintaining her marriage and providing a father figure for her children means regularly skipping sleep and traveling upstate — without owning a car. For the single-income mother of three, it’s a $500-a-month toll.
“There’s nothing I feel like I won’t do for him,” Banks said of her husband. “I want him to feel like he’s always still connected to the outside world. He still has somebody that does love him unconditionally.”
Visiting Javon in several upstate New York prisons for almost 20 years, Banks is part of the network of families trying to maintain their ties through the long distance of incarceration. / Brooklyn Eagle