By Diane A. Sears
According to the International Centre for Prison Studies which is located in London in the United Kingdom, at least 10.1 million people throughout our global village are incarcerated. Many of the incarcerated individuals are parents – parents who are disconnected physically and emotionally from their families and communities. In the United States, approximately 2,239,751 individuals are incarcerated and approximately 1.7 million children in the United State have a parent who is incarcerated. It is estimated that on an annual basis, nearly 700,000 individuals are released annually. We are talking about 700,000 souls every year returning to our communities who need healing and humanization.
In the Spring of 2012, I had an opportunity to discuss with Douglass Capogrossi, Ph.D., the President of Akamai University (www.akamaiuniversity.us), who has designed and facilitates parenting programs for Incarcerated Fathers in correctional facilities in Hawaii, the need for the design and implementation of an intensive and mandatory psychological debriefing for individuals who are being released or have been released from correctional facilities throughout our nation. After some thought, I concluded that a need existed for a two-tiered “healing” and “humanization” mandatory program. The first tier of the program will provide mandatory and intensive psychological debriefing for a minimum of six (6) months to one (1) year for all individuals who have been incarcerated — particularly Men. At the same time, the second tier of the program will provide for mandatory and intensive sessions with loved ones and family members of individuals who have been incarcerated. This second tier will provide the loved ones and family members with the necessary psychological and emotional tools they will need to help those they love who have been incarcerated heal spiritually, psychologically, and emotionally; trust again; love again; create a future for themselves; and empower and strengthen the communities that they have returned to. The second tier is necessary to create positive reinforcement and transform the environment to which the formerly incarcerated have returned.
Why is this so important? Because we are connected by an invisible thread to the 700,000 souls who are released annually from correctional facilities across the United States and to the approximately 2,239,751 souls who are currently incarcerated. We are connected to each of them, their families, and their loved ones. Think of it as an investment in the future – your future, the future of your family, the future of the community in which you live and work, and the future of our world.
(First published by In Search of Fatherhood and used here by permission)
Author: Diane A. Sears – 2013 International Men’s Day – United States Coordinator
– Chair, USA 2012-2022 International Men’s Day Ten Year Plan
– Member, International Men’s Day Coordination Committee
– Member, University Council for Fatherhood and Men’s Studies Program at Akamai University
– Member, The Boys Initiative National Affinity Network (www.theboysinitiative.org)
– Managing Editor – IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R) (http://globalfatherhooddialogue.blogspot.com)
– Author/Editor – IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R) (www.amazon.com)
– Director, IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R) INTERNATIONAL FATHERHOOD AND MEN’S