Strategies for Building Healthy Relationship Skills Among Couples Affected by Incarceration. Parallel Programming


Some grantees could not get approval from correctional facilities to bring partners into the facilities for any kind of couples-based programming.  In these sites, grantees offered relationship classes through parallel programming.  Under the parallel programming model, incarcerated men took classes in the correctional facilities and their partners took classes in the community.  Two sites (the Minnesota and Michigan grantees) used this format for relationship education classes.

Perceived advantages of the parallel approach to relationship education included the following.

  • Lower Burden on Correctional Partners.  Participating correctional facilities did not have to provide the additional visitor clearance work and additional security associated with bringing non-incarcerated women into contact with incarcerated men for service delivery purposes.
  • Streamlined Enrollment for Men.  Programs that delivered relationship education separately to men and their partners on the outside could bring enrolled men into their courses immediately if desired, without the delays associated with securing partners participation.

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