(Laconia, NH) Data from a new study shows positive results from an inmate program that provides parenting education and family support. In making this announcement, New Hampshire Department of Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn pointed out that, while the Governor’s 2010-2011 budget continues this program, the House Finance Committee identified key positions for elimination and its future remains unclear.
The Family Connections Center, in conjunction with Dr. Kerry Kazura from the University of NH Family Studies Department, has completed a study on the Parent-Child visitation program held at FCC. The results of this study indicate that fifty-five percent of the incarcerated parents with significant parenting behavioral challenges, made the greatest improvement from visit one to visit three. The visitation assessment measured a variety of parenting behaviors and suggests that both mothers and fathers improved in the behavior areas of confidence, autonomy, limit setting, expressiveness, responsiveness, clarity of language. Further, it observed that the behaviors of sadness and anxiety went down.
Since 1998 the Family Connections Center has worked to preserve and strengthen families affected by incarceration. A multitude of services are offered, from parenting education classes to the recording of books on tapes to send to their children, the Center offers semi-private visits between the incarcerated parent and their child(ren).