Family Services Program
The Department of Corrections (DOC) acknowledges the vital role families play in an inmate's life, and the reentry process. It is the goal of the Family Services Program to identify the challenges faced by families impacted by incarceration, and to provide support and services relative to family needs.
Research has shown maintaining and strengthening family ties positively affects post prison outcomes and decreases recidivism. Strengthening family ties helps individuals to effectively reenter the community, helps families reunify, and supports children by the inclusion of a positive role model in the household. Events and activities are planned to foster closeness between individuals under supervision and their families during critical times.
Family-centered programming is intended to reduce the likelihood of committing new crimes (i.e., reduce recidivism), encourage positive social interactions, unify families, strengthen family bonds, and assist families in breaking the cycle of intergenerational incarceration. The programming provided is culturally relevant, gender responsive, and informative. These services include:
- Parenting classes
- Family-centered events and activities
- Assistance with reunification
- Child support reduction services
- Referrals to other social services and support
Spouses and parters are welcome to participate in programs when appropriate. Please ask your loved one's Classification Counselor or Community Corrections Officer for specifics.
Family Service Specialists
The correctional system, with all its rules and processes, can be challenging to understand without assistance. Family Service Specialists will work with you to provide information, connection to services and assistance in finding what you need. The Department of Corrections (DOC) has Family Service Specialists assigned statewide to provide support to families and friends impacted by incarceration. Some of the things they do include:
- Outreach to family and friends of first time offenders
- Ways to maintain connection during incarceration
- Information about family-centered events and activities
- Help navigating the correctional system
- Connection to local DOC Family Councils
- Assist in the development of family-centered programs and services
- Teach classes and facilitate groups
- Refer families to outside services
- Connection to programs for children of the incarcerated
- Help address concerns from families
- Assistance bringing families back together
See the Family Services Contacts to find your local Family Support Specialist.