Baltimore City received federal funding to begin implementation of its “B’More Reconnects” program designed to provide support for minor children of parents who are currently or recently incarcerated.
The program will provide parenting skill development for incarcerated parents to address the needs of their children, training for correctional officers to respond to the needs of parents, children, and families during visitation, examine visitation policies at City correctional facilities, and support community-based services to meet the needs of parents and their families upon re-entry. Mayor Brandon M. Scott affirmed the City’s commitment to keep families connected and expressed thanks to partnering organizations in a press release:
“We must ensure recently incarcerated parents have the adequate support they need to maintain essential familial relationships that are fundamental in preventing recidivism and preserving the full development of our young people,” said Mayor Scott. “I want to thank the U.S. Department of Justice, The Wright Family Foundation, The Richman Family Foundation, and The Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund for their partnership on this critical effort.”
Funding for B’more Reconnects comes through a Second Chance Act grant from the United States Department of Justice. Said grants are intended to provide funding for states and local governments to develop programs within detention or correctional facilities that support the minor children of incarcerated parents and foster positive family engagement.
Within the City of Baltimore, an estimated 20,000 children have a parent who is incarcerated or is on parole/probation. The traumatic impact of parental incarceration for children is significant and is identified as an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Research has shown that the negative impact of parental incarceration on children can be alleviated by investing in parenting support and skill building for incarcerated parents, as well as providing community supports for parents around housing and employment upon reentry.