BALTIMORE — Mayor Brandon Scott designed a new program to help support children whose parents are currently behind bars. This is thanks to a community-based partnership and a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The new program, B'More Reconnects, will provide skills to not only the incarcerated parents, but to the correctional officers as well. The parents will receive parental skill development and the correctional officers will learn how to respond to the needs of the parents, children and families during visitation.
B'More Reconnects wants to focus on making the relationship stronger between the parent and child when the parent is ultimately released. They'll be providing a parenting education to approximately 400 parents with a focus on navigating and strengthening the parent/child relationship.
Correctional officers will be trained on child development and parenting in order to meet the needs of these families. By investing in parenting support and improving the quality of visitation within detention centers, the program aims to improve the well-being of children with incarcerated parents within the City.
At least 20,000 children in Baltimore have a parent who is incarcerated or on parole/probation.
Research has shown that when a parent is incarcerated, children are impacted negatively. The child can develop disorders like anxiety, depression and even substance abuse.