The Family Connections in Correctional Facilities Project is intended to advance practices that foster contact and communication between parents experiencing incarceration and their children and family members by: developing a set of low-cost, high-impact correctional practices to reduce barriers to family connections and contact; working with select facilities to implement these practices; documenting how these practices can be implemented and are related to parent, family, and system outcomes. Participation in the Family Connections in Correctional Facilities Project provides an opportunity for correctional facilities to receive training and technical assistance for implementing practices geared to helping parents who are incarcerated maintain communication and contact with their children.
Nearly 5 million US children have experienced the incarceration of a parent. Research demonstrates that parental incarceration contributes to emotional, financial, and residential instability among children and their caregivers, which can have significant short- and long-term ramifications for their lives. The Urban Institute has collaborated with the National Institute of Corrections, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Community Works, and subject-matter experts to develop actionable, low-cost, high-impact model practices and activities that can reduce the barriers to contact and communication between incarcerated parents and their children (Model Practices for Parents in Jail and Prison: Reducing Barriers to Family Connections).
We are selecting up to five sites to implement the model practices. Eligible sites include all US correctional facilities—including jails and prisons, in urban and rural settings, and of varying security levels and incarcerated populations—interested in implementing these model practices. Selected correctional facilities will be at the forefront of a national discussion on how to mitigate the impact of parental incarceration on children and families. As part of this project, selected sites will receive targeted training and technical assistance (TTA) from leading subject-matter experts; have access to educational webinars, trainings, and peer-learning opportunities; and be featured in the robust dissemination of reports, presentations, and webinars to fellow practitioners and researchers in the field.
For more information, visit the National Institute of Corrections microsite: https://info.nicic.gov/fsp/
Rachel Brushett, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Department of Justice
Lindsey Cramer, Research Associate, Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute
Hilary Cuthrell, National Institute of Corrections, US Department of Justice
Jocelyn Fontaine, Senior Research Fellow, Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute
Alina Martinez, Lead Coordinator, One Family Program, Community Works West
Bryce Peterson, Senior Research Associate, Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute