Monday, March 8, 2010

Attorney General focuses on the importance of fatherhood initiatives

It's time to change our ways. In NYS, when a person is incarcerated, the policy has been to send them to a prison far from home and make them earn their way back. An unintended consequence -- weakening the bond between fathers and their children -- bad news for everyone including the community.

OJJDP News @ a Glance - January/February 2010: "'More than 1.5 million American children have fathers in prison,' the Attorney General noted in his address, 'And we know that children of incarcerated parents suffer from the physical and emotional separation, the stigma associated with having a parent detained, the loss of financial support, and the disruption caused by introducing new caregivers into a child's life.'

Approximately 700,000 people return to their communities from prison every year. However, only a small percentage of these people receive any help preparing for their return. Research reveals that incarcerated men who maintain strong family ties while behind bars are more successful when they are released. They have an easier time finding jobs and staying off drugs. In fact, a recent study done for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that people who were married or in committed relationships were half as likely to use drugs or commit new crimes after they returned to their communities. Family connections—and responsible and engaged parenting—improve public safety."

We're glad to see that OJJDP has initiated funding for demonstration projects to strengthen that link between incarcerated people and their families -- especially their children.

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