Strengthening the Couple and Family Relationships of Fathers Behind Bars: The Promise and Perils of Corrections-Based Programming. Population counts, lockdowns, other commitments, and facility operations disrupted programming

08/30/2009

The grantees reported several corrections-specific issues that made programming difficult. Classes sometimes started late because of delayed meal times, scheduled and random population counts, or lockdowns.

One program reported that each class required about 95 to 100 minutes, so it was difficult to deliver a complete module when the class began late. Attendance was also affected by conflicts with other commitments (e.g., GED courses, medical appointments, or in one facility, a seasonal firefighting program).

Lessons Learned for Meeting Logistical Challenges
  • Provide makeup sessions to participants so that they can complete the program even if they miss some classes.
  • Be willing to change service delivery plans and scheduling to meet the needs of the host facility.
  • Begin recruiting participants when they are first admitted to prison or consider providing services to those who are nearer the beginning of their sentences.
  • To the extent possible, determine the feasibility of providing programming in a facility before including it in the program. Carefully consider and negotiate space availability, resource needs, and staffing.

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