How Fathers Celebrate Father’s Day in Prison
This Father’s Day there will be many children missing their dads. They may be able to visit him in prison if it falls on a visitation day, however others may not have that benefit. Thanks to Google and the non-profit organizations Pops the Club and Place4Grace in California, they created a program for children to send Father’s Day videos to their father’s in prison. The USA Today’s article, Google helps kids send videos to dads in prison for Father’s Day, by Alex Mosher (June 18, 2016) describes how they are helping make Father’s Day in prison better:
…the campaign helps children reach out to their fathers in prison as well as shine a light on the human toll of mass incarceration. Google partnered with criminal justice groups in a similar effort that helped children send video letters to their moms in prison for Mother’s Day.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based owner of YouTube worked with the California Department of Corrections to share the videos with the fathers in prison in the state.
The article continued by adding information about Google’s efforts to help with other issues related to mass incarceration.
Pat Nolan, in his June 17, 2016, Fox News Opinion article: I was once inmate 06833-097. Even dads in prison need to be remembers on Father’s Day, talks about what it was like to spend Father’s Day in prison and what the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) is doing to assist families with issues such as the separation of incarcerated parents from their children.
…ACUF believes that family preservation should be a top priority for corrections officials.
Sadly, many prison policies make it very hard for families to remain in touch. These policies need to be changed to promote family contact:
• Most inmates are imprisoned hundreds of miles from their families, without public transportation available for their families to come for visits.
• Many prisons prohibit relatives other than the custodial parent from bringing their children to visit their parent. Thus, the caregiver that often works two jobs to support the family is the only one who can bring the children to visit. No grandparents, aunts or brothers are allowed to bring them.
• Other prisons prohibit children from visiting unless the incarcerated parent is listed on their birth certificate. This cuts off contact for parents not listed, and places them in a Catch-22 because many states consider failure to visit or communicate with a child in foster care as grounds to terminate all parental rights.
• Most jails and prisons limit prisoners to collect calls, charging exorbitant rates to their families, who are among the poorest residents of the U.S. Some states charge as much as $3.95 to place the call plus $0.89 per minute. Families are prohibited from using discount cards that allow the rest of us to make calls for less than 10 cents a minute.
…Studies also show that children of inmates who are able to visit with their parents have increased cognitive skills, improved academic self-esteem, and greater self control, and they change schools much less often. The improvement of the children has an amazing impact on the incarcerated parent, too, with significantly reduced recidivism of the parent after release.
See Children of Incarcerated Parents for more information on the affects on children when a parent is incarcerated and groups that are helping.