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U.S. Department of Justice grant, new Montana DOC program to help reunite children with incarcerated parents sooner

Wednesday, October 30, 2019/Categories: Department of Corrections/Tags:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019

CONTACT:
Carolynn Bright, Communications Director
(406) 444-0409

Montana children will have a greater chance of connecting with their incarcerated parents thanks to a $673,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

The funds — to be delivered through the 2019 Second Chance Act Addressing the Needs of Incarcerated Parents and Their Minor Children program — will be used to expand upon the Montana State Prison’s existing Nurturing Parenting Program. MSP houses around 1,600 men, many of whom have minor children. The new program will provide additional evidence-based services to build parenting skills, and reconnect and support families as they strengthen relationships in cases where a parent-child relationship is appropriate.

The Montana Department of Corrections (DOC) will hire a project coordinator to facilitate the program and coordinate a work group, comprised of state agency and community partners, to craft policy, implement the program, and develop resources for incarcerated inmates and their families. As part of the program, DOC will also provide Adverse Childhood Experiences training and Mental Health First Aid.

“This program will help children cope with the challenges they face having an incarcerated parent, which will hopefully improve their overall health and well-being. Solid family connections also help reduce the chance that inmates will slip back into criminal behaviors when they are released from prison,” said  Marisa Britton-Bostwick, education director at MSP. “This grant will allow us to serve between 120 and 144 families through innovative efforts, including a licensed counselor-led, three-day, family CAMPP (Connecting Adults and Minors through Positive Parenting) experience at MSP.”

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