This project identified factors to consider when designing and implementing strategies to improve marriages and family life of those incarcerated or returning from a period of incarceration. Invited to a symposium were experts with research and practice knowledge about incarceration and re-entry, marriage strengthening family processes and domestic violence. The symposium discussion focused on increasing understanding among the criminal justice and marriage education disciplines about how these issues are viewed by each discipline, identifying practice needs in order to improve marriage outcomes for these couples, and reviewing research for improved understanding of the efficacy of various interventions for this population.
Researchers summarized the wide-ranging discussion. The environment in prisons and jails makes them difficult places in which to enhance and maintain healthy relationships with partners and children. Psychological and health concerns pose significant hurdles for reuniting families. Domestic violence is a critical issue; including domestic violence protocols in marriage education and relationship strengthening programs for this population was suggested. Specific areas where research on marriage and incarceration and evaluation of effective practices are needed were discussed and summarized.
Report Title: Research and Practice Symposium on Marriage and Incarceration, http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/marr-incar/index.htm
Agency Sponsor: ASPE-OHSP, Office of Human Services Policy
Federal Contact: Linda Mellgren, 202-690-6806
Performer: Health Systems Research, Inc
PIC ID: 8767