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Where are the kids? Story 2

We asked women in prison what happened to their kids when they were arrested.

Holly Martin

Holly Martin told us that she feared her children had been living on the streets since her arrest in Grayson County in 2015.

It was partly true, and finding them took months.

The News located Emiley Thompson, her oldest daughter, through court records and Facebook. Emiley’s friends call her “Lil’ Bit.”

We traded messages for months, and talked briefly on the phone. She texted: “My lifes not been easy by far and the majority of that is because of fake twisted poor excuse people with a badge.”

Emiley is an adult now, and had a handful of people she was able to crash with while her mom was initially jailed, she told us. She eventually went to stay with her dad in a town north of Dallas, near the Oklahoma border.

For her brother and sister, both under 18, it’s been even harder. Their father died recently and they had no one else. Her brother got in trouble with the law and went to a juvenile detention boot camp for a while.

Everything has been tough since their mother went to prison for drugs in 2011. After her first incarceration, she struggled to find a safe place to live with her kids, Martin says. They ended up living with people involved in the drug trade; she was charged with child endangerment in Grayson County and sent back to jail.

The system doesn’t do enough to help women avoid falling back into addiction and criminal activity after completing prison, Martin says.

What would help families like hers? “Figure out ways to help people get clean before it gets to the point of no return,” she wrote.

[This story was originally published by .]

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