A: Currently there are seven grants available in DRC institutions that focus on the family, reentry of the offender, and breaking the cycle of children following in the footsteps of their parent by becoming incarcerated when they are older. The grants are funded with federal TANF money and are currently being researched through the University of Cincinnati.
To be eligible for these programs, the offender must have three to six months remaining on their his sentence and then must be willing to participate three to six months after they are released. There are several eligibility requirements such as no sex offenses, child endangering, etc. but we do consider domestic violence on a case by case basis. Once determined that an offender is eligible, the parenting partner is contacted to see if they are willing to participate. One must participate in the community and agree to participate in Strengthening Families in the institution to be considered a successful completion.
There are several perks to participating for the parenting partner, such as employment assistance and family case management. It is not uncommon for agencies to pay bills, provide food, clothing, shelter, furniture, and other referrals that the family needs to maintain while the offender is incarcerated.
The offender must attend daily classes, case management sessions, and participate in Strengthening Families. Families are provided transportation to the institution for the Strengthening Families programming which is once a week for approximately three hours.
When the offender is released, they are given a returning home package as an incentive for completing Phase one of the program. In the package are personal hygiene items, undergarments, and socks. The agency continues to work with the offender and family providing them with employment assistance, case management, monthly group outings, and any other referrals that the offender may need. When the agency feels that the offender and family are stable with secure housing, employment, and have completed their family case action plan, they are successfully terminated from phase two of the program. Participants are encouraged to check in from time to time. For more information please contact Candace Knight, Program Manager at (614) 728-1185.