sidebar - Children of Incarcerated Parents - NIC Resources
This webinar was created for the Family Connections Project. On April 16, 2020, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) presented a 1.5-hour training webinar on strategies for staff to communicate with families and children in correctional facilities.
This webinar covered four major topics:
- Communication 101: Basic Types and Everyday Challenges
- Points of Contact and Communication with Families in Correctional Facilities
- Best Practices on Communication and Active Listening
- Tips for Staff on Interacting with Families and Children in Correctional Facilities
This webinar is part of a series created for the Family Connections Project, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) invites you to attend a 1.5-hour training on how to communicate with families and children in correctional facilities. Installment two of the series will provide relevant information and strategies for staff. This webinar will cover three major topics:
- Communication 101: Basic Types and Everyday Challenges
- Workplace Culture and Practices: Interacting with Families and Children in Correctional Facilities
- Applicable Practices for Staff: Interacting with Families and Children in Correctional Facilities
Nearly three million children under the age of 18 have a parent in jail or prison, and millions more have experienced their parents being arrested. Due to their parent’s criminal justice involvement, a growing body of research indicates that these children often experience trauma, family disruption, and the loss of their primary caregiver, which can lead to financial hardship, residential instability, and an array of emotional and behavioral problems.
In response, several community-based organizations and government agencies across the country have implemented programs and practices aimed at reducing this trauma and mitigating the potentially harmful outcomes associated with parental criminal justice involvement. The Urban Institute and the National Institute of Corrections hosted a live webinar highlighting these promising and innovative programs and practices.
This webinar is four sessions:
- Parental Arrest Protocols—"Focuses on protocols that police departments can use to manage the arrest of a parent to minimize the trauma and harm to their children";
- Family Impact Statements—"Focuses on how probation departments can use family impact statements in their presentence investigation reports to account for the needs of family and children";
- Family-Focused Jail Services—"Focuses on a few family-focused programs and services that jail administrators can offer to parents in their jails to help them stay connected to their family and children";
- and Successful Collaboration—"Provides information on how to collaboratively think about and address the many issues facing children of incarcerated parents, using a diverse group of interested stakeholders".
Presentation slides for these sessions are provided. Access is also provided to four publications that complement the webinar sessions and aim to guide criminal justice organizations and stakeholders in developing and implementing promising practices for children of justice-involved parents. The products include three toolkits on parental arrest policies, family-focused jail programs, and family impact statements, as well as a framework document that synthesizes what we have learned about promising practices and provides information about the context surrounding children and their families.
The products provide key challenges and recommendations for the field and help organizations and stakeholders
- understand the importance, scope, and effect of the issues facing children of justice-involved parents;
- learn how to talk about these issues with their constituencies; and
- appreciate how changes in practice can make meaningful differences by strengthening the relationship between children and their parents and reducing the trauma children experience when their parents are arrested, detained, and sentenced.
"The purpose of this guide is to inform the development of video visiting programs within a correctional setting. “Video visiting” is real-time interactive video communication which uses video conferencing technology or virtual software programs, such as Skype. It is an increasingly popular form of communication between separated family members in settings outside of corrections. The rapid expansion of video visiting in jails and prisons over the past few years suggests that video visiting may become very common in corrections in the near future.
"This guide will help inform administrators about the benefits and challenges of using some common video visiting models across a variety of settings. Video visiting can be a positive enhancement to in-person visiting, and has the potential to promote positive outcomes for incarcerated individuals and their families and communities. In certain circumstances, video visiting may benefit corrections by reducing costs, improving safety and security, and allowing for more flexibility in designating visiting hours. The value of video visiting can be maximized when the goals of the facility are balanced with the needs of incarcerated individuals and their families" (p. vii).
This guide is comprised of three chapters: why consider video visiting; implementation considerations; and evaluating a video visiting program. Appendixes cover: additional uses for video conferencing in corrections; video visiting with children; identifying a video visiting model; implementation checklist; and evaluation tools.
The objective of this document is to detail a set of practices that correctional administrators can implement to remove barriers that inhibit children from cultivating or maintaining relationships with their incarcerated parents during and immediately after incarceration. This handbook contains ten chapters: partnership building; training and core competencies; intake and assessment; family notification and information provision; classes and groups; visitor lobbies; visiting; parent-child communication; caregiver support; family-focused reentry.