Prison Parenting Program Boosts Visitation

Dianne-Frazee Walker

The most significant benefit of the Inside Out Parenting Program offered in Oregon prisons is increased visitation which results in a lower recidivism rate. Research has proven that inmates who receive abundant visitation are less likely to reoffend when they return to the community.   Photo courtesy tracyschiffmann.com

Parenting Inside Out (PIO) is a parenting program offered in Oregon prisons for over ten years. The program was initiated by the Oregon Social Learning Center and the Oregon Department of Corrections. The reason why PIO works is the program encourages individuals to visit incarcerated family members often. The positive outcome is family relationships are nourished, which provides motivation for incarcerated parents to reconnect with their children.

The Oregon Social Learning Center conducted a randomized controlled study to test the outcomes of (PIO) participants. Empirical results of the study provided the impact PIO has on incarcerated parents. The study presents evidence that both male and female inmate parents who took PIO classes improved their parenting skills and relationships with their children.

359 incarcerated parents participated in the experiment. Both mothers and fathers were randomly divided into two groups. Half of the parents participated in parenting classes and the other half did not.

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