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This publication “provides guidance for implementing an FDC [Family Drug Court], including the development of FDC partnerships and a common vocabulary for describing FDC components, with a focus on improving services to families who are involved with the child welfare system and are affected by substance use disorders. The authors hope that this document will help jurisdictions select and improve practices and, ultimately, outcomes for children and families” (p. 2). The recommendations made are: create a shared mission and vision; develop interagency partnerships; create effective communication protocols for sharing information; ensure cross-system knowledge; develop an early identification and assessment process; address the needs of parents; address the needs of children; garner community support; implement funding and sustainability strategies; and evaluate shared outcomes to ensure accountability. Appendixes provide: description of an arrangement for a multi-disciplinary or collaborative structure; a facilitator’s guide with sample tools and exercises that will help organizations in the collaborative process; and the evidence for the effective strategies for each recommendation.

Guidance to States: Recommendations for Developing Family Drug Court Guidelines Cover

These four pocket-sized cards are wonderful tools to remind law enforcement staff about the impacts on a child whose parents are being arrested or incarcerated. Sections of each card explain: child's perception of arrest; what to say; how children might act and how you should respond; and when arrest is a raid or domestic violence (DV) response. There is one card each for: Toddler—Ages 1 to 4; Preschool—Ages 4 to 5; School Age—Ages 6 to 12; and Adolescence—Ages 13 to 18.

How To Explain A Parent's Arrest To A Child Cover

Implementation of the Family Support Approach for Community Supervision is explained. This publication includes the following sections: introduction and overview; guiding principles for putting this system into practice; tools and techniques for putting this approach into practice; practical application of guiding principles; administrative support; and "The Oklahoma Family Justice Project: Improving Community Supervision Outcomes One Family at a Time" by Justin Jones and Carol Shapiro.

Implementing the Family Support Approach for Community Supervision Cover

Proceedings from hearings regarding mentally ill offenders are provided. Contents of this publication include: executive summary; outline of proceedings; opening remarks and introduction; hearing panel -- setting the context -- the increasing number of people with mental illness under corrections supervision -- origins of the problem and key strategies for addressing it; hearing panel -- case studies of state and local mental health and corrections collaboration; summary of day's proceedings; Day Two remarks; hearing panel -- the role of family members, advocates, and consumers in corrections and mental health collaboration; open forum -- reflections and analysis; and summary and conclusions.

Improving the Response to Offenders with Mental Illness Through Mental Health and Criminal Justice Collaboration Cover

Sesame Workshop's initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, provides much-needed bilingual (English/Spanish) multimedia tools for families with young children (ages 3-8) who have an incarcerated parent. These FREE resources include a resource kit with A Guide for Parents and Caregivers, a Children's Storybook, and a new Sesame Street video; an Incarcerated Parent Tip Sheet; and the Sesame Street: Incarceration mobile app for smart phones and tablets, all of which can be accessed at

Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration Cover

This Listening Session allowed juvenile justice professionals, families, and allies to share their expertise and experiences regarding the mentoring of children of incarcerated parents. “The report summarizes participants' recommendations, ways to reach this unique at-risk population, and evidence-based mentoring practices that can serve the needs and support the strengths of children of incarcerated parents.” Sections following an executive summary include: research and background on children of incarcerated parents and mentoring; supporting high-quality mentoring relationships for children of incarcerated parents—program practices (i.e., mentor and youth recruitment, screening and intake assessment, matching, training, monitoring and support, structure and supports for mentoring activities, family engagement, external partnerships, and closure of mentoring relationships) and organizational infrastructure and capacity; and recommendations for practice and policy.

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Cover

The National Institute of Corrections in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance presented “Building Partnerships & Innovative Practices” as part of an ongoing webinar series from the Family Connections Project. The presenters of the webinar discuss their unique partnerships centered on keeping children connected to their incarcerated parents. The webinar stems from the Model Practices for Parents in Prisons and Jails document.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about promising practices pertaining to keeping children connected with their incarcerated parents.
  • Gain an understanding of approaches to partnerships correctional administrators and community leaders have taken to successfully implement these practices.
  • Learn of the different types of partnerships that can be formed and the importance of these partnerships.

Originally broadcast: August 23rd, 2021 8am PST / 9am MST /10am CST /11am EST


  • Hilary Cuthrell, (PhD) Correctional Program Specialist, National Institute of Corrections
  • Trina Sexton, Warden York Correctional Institution, Connecticut Department of Correction
  • Nancy Correa, (DrPH), Practice Administrator: Public Health Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Pajarita Charles (PhD), Assistant Professor, Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison

While this publication is a toolkit for caregivers and educators in Idaho, the information it presents is applicable to any state. Contents explain: the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission Children of Incarcerated Guiding Principles; the National Bill of Rights for Children of the Incarcerated; how to use this toolkit; feelings and emotions; 10 Tips for Caregivers and Educators … from Caregivers; most common questions a child might ask at every stage in the criminal justice process; 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member Is Arrested; 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member Goes to Court; 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member Is Convicted; 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member is Sentenced; 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member Goes to Prison; and 10 Questions a Child Might Ask When a Family Member Is on Probation or Parole.

Parents Behind Bars: Children of Incarcerated Family Members: Answers to Children’s Difficult Questions Cover

“Today, the parents of 1 in every 50 children in the United States are in prison. 1 Over half of those parents are serving time for non-violent offenses.2 The gains in public safety benefits stemming from incarcerating a record number of parents are dubious, but the potential adverse consequences for children are clear. More than 40 percent of parents in prison lived with their children before they were sent to prison and half were the main source of financial support for their children.3 Sending parents to prison contributes to single-parent households, damages family ties, and exacerbates chronic childhood poverty” (p. 1).

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This is a great resource for those correctional educators wanting to improve or start parenting programs. "The resources in this handbook are grouped according to the predominant focus of the program. Those programs comprised of several components are listed in the Multi-Faceted Programs section" (p. 2). Sections of this document include: multi-faceted programs; parenting skills programs; family support programs; parent/child book reading programs; re-entry programs; handbooks for incarcerated parents and their families; books on incarcerated parents and their families; videos on incarcerated parents and their families; and newsletters for parenting educators in correctional facilities.

› Prison Parenting Programs: Resources for Parenting Instructors in Prisons and Jails cover


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