by Christopher Zoukis

Sesame Street has a new muppet character: Alex, whose father is incarcerated. “My dad’s in jail,” he says in an online video. “I don’t like to talk about it.”

Alex is featured in Sesame Street’s online teaching kit, “Little Children, Big Challenges,” which is a series of resources for children and their parents dealing with adversity, from bullying to divorce. The fuzzy blue-haired muppet is depicted as facing a wave of questions from his peers about “carceration.” Sofia, a neighbor, explains that incarceration “is when someone breaks the law, a grown-up rule, and then they have to go to jail or prison.” Alex says of his father, “I just miss him so much…. Sometimes I just feel like I want to pound a pillow and scream as loud as I can.”

Jeanette Betancourt, vice president for outreach and educational practices at Sesame Workshop, said the video is intended to give support and comfort to children like Alex.

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About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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