By Anne Stuhldreher, Cal Matters, April 27, 2021
Growing up, Blossom Sergejev was lucky if she talked to her mother once a week. Usually it was once a month. Even then their conversations ended almost as soon as they started. She and her brother and sister had a timer to make sure all three got their fair share of their mother’s time – five minutes each.
“There was no small talk on those calls, and it wasn’t at all light-hearted,” Sergejev says. “We got down to the grit of what was going on.”
They simply couldn’t afford to talk longer, not with rates of approximately $15 for a 15-minute call from jail, remembers their mother Amika Mota, who was incarcerated for several years starting in 2008. Not that Sergejev grasped the reasons as a 6-year-old.