When one person is incarcerated their family is incarcerated as well.
Our Family2Child Literacy program is a reading-based program which records incarcerated men and women a book to children they left behind. Each book includes a loving personalized inscription.
The books, along with the audio recordings, are mailed to the children, allowing them to hear the voice of their loved one and read along with the recording.
The program is present is 16 prisons throughout the state of California, and since 2011, over 8,700 men and women have participated in the program reaching over 18,000 children as far away as New York, Mexico and India.
The Parent and Child Connection Program (PACC) is modeled after our Family2Child Literacy Program and was launched in partnership with San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and First 5 of San Bernardino in October of 2020. The program is currently offered in the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center, the West Valley Detention Center, the Central Detention Center and High Desert Detention Center. Since the program’s inception in October 2020, 589 parents participated in the program reaching 902 children.
The program hosts five special events each year, during which toys are sent to the children along with the books and recordings.
Camp Grace is a 5-day music and art-based program, founded on restorative justice principles with the purpose of providing a healing space for fathers to begin building, and in some cases, restoring the relationship with their children. Camp Grace also allows children to spend extended bonding time with their incarcerated parents. Daily activities such as music and art, drumming, dancing, and writing, serve as vital healing tools and allow participants to reduce the impact of stress and trauma, which in turn allows for the increase in resilience. The daily activities provide a vital healing space for incarcerated fathers and their children, in which they process their emotions, relieve stress, and develop tools to positively express themselves without resorting to violence. The main theme of Camp Grace is a family mural, based on a simple dream: “What would a perfect day be like if my dad was not in prison”?.
The impact on the participating children is profound, as they are able to interact with other children that have an incarcerated parent. They are able to drop their shame surrounding their parent’s incarceration, and learn that they are not alone, and spend time in a safe space with other children who may be dealing with the same struggles.
The program not only benefits the incarcerated fathers and participating children; it also has an impact on institutional staff. The children see that the CDCR staff interacting with their fathers each day are not something to be feared, which leads to humanization of the CDCR staff on part of the children, and also reduces the children’s fear and anxiety. The institutional staff begins to see participating fathers as fathers, instead of simply “Inmates”. This cultural shift is critical, as it restores the incarcerated fathers’ humanity, and provides greater safety and security for the institution itself.
Since its inception, we have held 14 camps in Calipatria State Prison, High Desert State Prison, Salinas Valley State Prison, and the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi. Camp Grace is of no cost to the participating families, and the children range between the ages of 8-14. Since 2012, 82 fathers and 105 children have taken part in Camp Grace.
The Home2Stay Reentry Program serves people who have been formerly sentenced, incarcerated, and released from state prison by providing a unique reentry program focusing on their individual needs.
In order to mitigate the difficulties faced by the families and formerly released people, the re-entry program and the services are based on a client-centered holistic approach, which focuses on the newly released citizen, their families, and their children with the aim of reducing recidivism by addressing risk factors which may lead to recidivism such as lack of access employment, job training and education; lack of life skills including financial and computer literacy; access to mental health and substance abuse counseling; family and marriage counseling, as well as stable housing and a strong support network for the newly released citizens and their families. The aim of the program is to assist the participants in successfully re-entering their communities and their families.
The program addresses the specific needs of each client and their families through individualized case management and support services. It works to create a positive social network for each client, towards helping to make their transition from prison back into the community a successful one and helping them towards a road of self-sufficiency, while strengthening their families and the community. The program serves over 80 participants per year.
We believe in healing the whole family.
Our mission is simple… restore families that have been impacted by the carceral system.
Our partners make it possible for us to do the impactful and important work for all the families we support.
This could be you…
❖ Conduct a book drive for our Family2Child Literacy and PACC programs at your place of worship, school, local Rotary Club, Women’s Club, etc.
❖ Organize a fundraiser for The Place4Grace.
❖ Sponsor a child for Camp Grace by donating $5,000.00 to cover the full costs of camp, including transportation, food, and activities. Your generous donation allows a child share 5 days of extended bonding time with their incarcerated father.
❖ Donate mailing supplies for books sent children such as large mailing envelopes and stamps.
❖ Volunteer to assist recording incarcerated men and women reading to children.
❖ Sponsor an Art4Healing kit for our Camp Grace kids and/or their incarcerated parent ($50.00 per kit)
❖ Volunteer as a guest speaker to share your story with incarcerated men and women.
❖ Sponsor a book mailing to a child ($30.00).
❖ Adopt-a-prison with your local club by donating $3,500.00 to cover the costs of books and mailing supplies for one year.
❖ Make a monthly donation as low as $10.00 a month.
❖ Volunteer at our community events or help with our Camp Grace events.
❖ Join our Home2Stay transportation team to provide rides for newly released citizens to their home or transitional residence.
❖ Donate backpacks or gift cards for our Home2Stay participants.
❖ Donate Yoga mats for our Warrior Yoga program.