SHREVEPORT La. (AP) The Caddo Parish sheriff’s office has teamed up with Sci-Port to develop a new prison program for kids. It gives inmate dads more time with their children.
This merge creates the Re-entry Program. It provides a unique opportunity for imprisoned fathers to meet their children, bond, and to further spend time with them while behind bars.
About the Re-entry Program
Inmates enroll in the sheriff’s Re-entry Program. They go through a 12 week program where they learn about science and how to teach science to their children.
This is Sci-port’s second year in the program. Kleiner and the former Sci-Port CEO, Ann Fumarolo, approached the Caddo Parish sheriff, Steve Prator, and Re-entry Program director, David Boone. They proposed the idea to them and they agreed.
The New Prison Program Merges Incarcerated Father’s with Their Prison Children
In its first year, the program was sponsored by the Carolyne W. and Charles T. Beaird Family Foundation.
Up to 2019, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a Washington D.C based grant provider, will fund the program.
Re-entry Program: Who the Project Aims
This program pulls inmates from 11 parishes. They have to be offenders of the Department of Correction who are serving sentences of less than 10 years.
According to David Boone, the program aims for 20% recidivism or those who re-offend after release.
Re-entry Program: The Training
Inmates in the Re-entry Program attend two classes in a day. One is from 8 a.m. to noon and the other from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. they study for 5 days in a week for 30 days or 100 hours.
Re-entry Program: What They Learn in Training
The inmates are first taught activities such as how to make ice cream from scratch or how to build a rocket form Sci-Port.
They also learn about vocational skills, money management and job etiquette from local experts.
Benefits of the New Prison Program Aimed at Uniting Prison Father’s & Prison Children
- Inmates get to spend more time with their children every other week. They spend two hours together during visitation, something that not all correctional facilities would agree to.
- Through interacting with their children, these dads are able to gain more confidence.
- These time they spend with their children helps them a lot to reform their lives and become better people.
- Inmates who complete the program get:
- 120 days off their sentences.
- A free one year family membership to Sci-Port. The caregivers receive a three month free subscription during the time of parent’s incarceration.
Re-entry Program Family Testimonials
Different families have benefited from this program. This is how two families have benefited from this.
The Russell Family
Tabiaus Russell is incarcerated for drug possession with intent to distribute. He has two sons… aged 1 and 4.
He graduated from the Sci-Port Program in May and has requested special permission to re-enroll. For him this program makes him have something to look forward to every week. He joined it to be able to see his children. Tobias wants his kids to get an education and even go to college.
His prison wife, Sholanda Russell, says she’s noticed difference in him since he started spending more time with the kids. She tells him certain things to tell their sons. This helps him know what happens at him since he is not around and he is able to parent.
The Bruton Family
Marcus Bruton is serving 3 years for aggravated fight. He is a father to 3 girls aged 4, 9 and 13. Marcus equally joined the program for his kids. He gets to spend more time with them.
He and his wife have been together 17 years. He wants to see his children achieve their dreams, something he and his wife did not do.
Boone said the program aims for 20 percent recidivism, or those who reoffend after release. Its one-year recidivism rate today is 17.4 percent, with 581 releases and 101 returns, said Ken Pastorick, spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Corrections. The program’s three-year recidivism rate is at 34.6 percent.
Fathers who complete the program receive a free one-year family membership to Sci-Port. Caregivers receive a three-month free subscription during the time of the parent’s incarceration.