2.7 million minor children currently have a parent in jail or prison.
According to the Pew Charitable Trust, approximately 1.2 million inmates—or just over half of the incarcerated population—are parents of children under 18. As a result, there are 2.7 million minor children who currently have a parent in jail or prison. Millions more have a parent struggling with barriers to reentry and are themselves dealing with the stigma of having a parent with a criminal record.
As part of its “Little Children, Big Challenges” series, Sesame Street is tackling the issue of incarceration and its impact on the children of incarcerated parents. The show introduced a new Muppet, Alex, whose father is incarcerated. Alex explains the embarrassment and guilt he feels because of his dad’s incarceration, and is comforted by his friends who explain that he is not alone and should not feel embarrassed or guilty. DELETED TRACKER
Family & Corrections Network reaches out to the families of the Incarcerated.
Since 1983, Family and Corrections Network (FCN)
has provided ways for those concerned with families of the incarcerated to share information and experiences in an atmosphere of mutual respect. We have done this through publishing, sponsoring conferences, liaisons with other agencies, and by providing consultations to organizations and agencies around the US and Canada.
We have published information on children of the incarcerated, programs for parenting from prison, prison visiting, incarcerated fathers, hospitality programs and a variety of other topics. Our mission is to uphold the value of families of the incarcerated and provide support to programs that serve them. Click here to visit their website.
Prison and the Poverty Trap
This article explores the financial impact one man’s incarceration has had on his wife and daughters. Read the article here.
Fathers Forever is a non-profit organization that
serves as a map to help fathers chart a new course of fatherhood. Our aim is to make a lasting impression and difference in the lives of fathers through classes and support groups. Click here to visit their website.
Judge Kristin Ruth and Positive Child
This “Child Support and the Court” website, designed as a part of Wake County NC District Judge Kristin Ruth’s alternatives to incarceration, hosts a wide variety of materials contributed by practitioners and for practitioners of problem solving courts for child support. Its goal is to help judges, child support agencies, and community partners plan, implement, and evaluate problem solving courts for child support in their jurisdictions to improve outcomes for children and families in their communities. Click here to visit their website.
Wake County Court Referral Form
Client information form (in PDF format) for Wake County Judges and staff, for referral to CSI. Click here for the document.
The Family Resource Center of Raleigh
“Our mission is to promote the values of healthy marriage and increase economic stability for families by teaching youth and adults the knowledge. Relevant skills and attitudes needed to help form and sustain healthy relationships and marriages.” Visit their webpages at: http://frcofraleigh.org/
The National Transitional Jobs Network
NTJN discusses how non-custodial fathers can benefit from TJ programs, as well as some of the best practices from experienced practitioners and researchers on programming that impacts
non-custodial fathers. http://www.heartlandalliance.org/ntjn/
The National Responsible Fatherhood
On November 19, 2010, U.S. Congress re-authorized $75 million for the responsible fatherhood initiative. Click here to read about the initiative and the resources that are being made available.
National Transitional Jobs Network –
Fatherhood training and resources.
Click here for “Training material for successful Fatherhood programs”.
Coaching Packets: Engaging
Offenders’ Families in Reentry
New research is emerging that demonstrates that strategies targeting stronger relationships between offenders and their families correlate with better offender outcomes. For this reason, corrections agencies and their partners are becoming increasingly interested in the role families can play in promoting successful reentry. This Coaching Packet addresses a key area in the formula for offender success: identifying and building upon offenders’ pro-social supports from families and other social networks. Click here for “Coaching Packets: Engaging Offenders’ Families in Reentry”
Responsible Fatherhood Movement
The NRFC promotes and supports Responsible
Fatherhood in an effort to advance the fatherhood movement, and support fathers and families. The long-term goals of the NRFC are to have its efforts help support the emergence of more well-functioning, economically independent families and stronger communities in line with the long term-goals of OFA—family self sufficiency and economic independence. Fatherhood.gov
PA report outlines comprehensive reforms
to help children with parents in prison
What can state legislatures do to minimize the adverse consequences of a parent’s incarceration? Pennsylvania recently released a new must-read report answering this question. The report includes a considered and thorough summary of current knowledge on the needs of children whose parents are sent to prison along with a comprehensive set of recommendations for policy change to address those needs. Other states will find the report a valuable starting point for developing their own agendas of comprehensive reform.
Development of an effective and
high-quality Mentoring Children of Prisoners program
Critical to the development of an effective and high-quality Mentoring Children of Prisoners program, is securing the right individuals to provide services. Standard professionalism and formal education maintain esteem; but only when properly balanced with cultural competence and sensitivity. Staff must understand both the commonalities and distinctions between children of the incarcerated and their counterparts. Competence in this area will allow for efforts that are targeted yet unbiased. While children and families of prisoners continue to bear the label of being a vulnerable and at risk population, my years of serving as an administrator of a multi-county mentoring children of prisoners program, has taught me that the only common factor that is assured is the criteria for program eligibility. Families handle incarceration in a variety of ways; and many express phenomenal
strength and resilience while coping with grievous circumstances.
Staff should receive initial training that fosters self exploration of potential assumptions, opinions, and biases toward children and
families of prisoners. Such training can serve as screening, development, and a means of identifying areas of progress, and those needing improvement.
Our Children’s Place
Our Children’s Place (OCP) is a private nonprofit agency committed to the children of incarcerated parents. We strive to be the leading North Carolina advocate and educational resource focused on these children and the need for a statewide response to ensure their well-being. Our long-term goal is the creation of a residential facility that will allow young children to live with their mothers who are serving sentences for non-violent offenses. Click
here to view their webpage
Fathers and Families Coalition of America
“FFCA strives to provide the premiere national services for those working with fathers and families. We do this by providing professional development training. We differentiate ourselves through our distinctive capacity to connect to diverse organizations and populations nationwide and internationally. This is
accomplished through unique networking forums, our national conference, professional development venues, advocacy, and
collaboration development.” Click here to visit their website