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Family programs

This webinar highlights strategies, tools, examples, and best-practice models from across the country that juvenile justice agency managers, staff, and other practitioners may consider adopting to effectively implement family engagement practices and promote positive outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system.

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

This article describes the Read to Me program. Read to Me, "is one of at least half a dozen around the country that helps incarcerated parents connect with their children at home by making a recording of themselves reading a children’s book. The parents are allowed to send the book and recording to their child, and they can often read the book during an in-person visit as well" (p. 46). This program received the coveted Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award. This article includes "Tips for Starting an Intergenerational Reading Program for Incarcerated Parents" and "Resources for Families Dealing with Incarceration".

Reading on the Inside: Programs Help Incarcerated Parents Connect with Their Children through Books Cover

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.

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