About Babita Patel
Babita Patel is a humanitarian photographer whose work has been featured in The Guardian, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, Time Out New York, NY Daily News, The Indypendent, Activist Philanthropist, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Journal News, Alliance Life, and Corrections Today. She is the Founder & Executive Director of KIOO Project, an NGO that advances gender equality by teaching photography to girls in economically challenged communities who, in turn, teach photography to boys.
Babita has also put life through the lens for organisaions such as
WaterAid, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor, WASH United, Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, Woman’s Prison Association, The Mission Continues, The Third Wave Volunteers, ealing Haiti, Rebuilding Together NYC, Girl Be Heard, The GO Project, 3Seams, Long Island City Partnership, Print 4 Change, and Zylie & Friends. Her work has been exhibited across the world, including shows in New York, Atlanta, Santa Monica and Lisbon.
The Crade-to-Prison Pipeline
“When I was 8 years old, the only thing I wanted to do was go to prison.” Herbie’s childhood ambition is a common one within his Bronx community, where imprisonment is seen as an important rite of passage for a young man. Now 45, Herbie grew up within the walls of Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. And he’s not alone. In the US, we will lock up 1 in 3 of the black boys, and 1 in 6 of the Latino boys born in the new millennium. For every girl we lock up, we’ll lock up five boys.
Herbie and his peers are part of the cradle-to-prison pipeline: a national epidemic in which low-income minorities gravitate towards incarceration. For these men, it’s the most promising career option on offer. To achieve stable lives and livelihoods, they’d need access to quality education, early childhood development support, and comprehensive healthcare — none of which is on offer within their community. Simply put: the system fails these men long before they enter prison.