main navigation
my pace

Journal of Prison Education and Reentry | PACE UNIVERSITY

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

"Journal of Prison Education and Reentry" featured Pace University's Dyson Associate Professor Kim Collica-Cox in "Implementing Successful Jail-Based Programming for Women: A Case Study of Planning Parenting, Prison & Pups – Waiting to ‘Let the Dogs In'"

02/27/2019

"Journal of Prison Education and Reentry" featured Pace University's Dyson Associate Professor Kim Collica-Cox in "Implementing Successful Jail-Based Programming for Women: A Case Study of Planning Parenting, Prison & Pups – Waiting to ‘Let the Dogs In'"

Abstract: With 68% of prisoners recidivating within a three year period, designing and implementing innovative programming within the corrections setting is a necessity. The transient nature of the jail population begets difficulties for its successful implementation and maintenance. Since incarcerated females represent a smaller portion of the population, women, who face different challenges than their male counterparts, often receive less opportunity for programming, especially within the jail setting. Parenting, Prison & Pups (PPP), a program which weaves together an evidence-based parenting curriculum, integrated with the use of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), serves as a model for how to implement innovative programming within the jail setting at both the federal and county level for female prisoners. This paper outlines strategies to employ and discusses challenges that arise during program creation, implementation, and evaluation, which all require consideration prior to starting a new jail-based program. Despite a multitude of challenges, well-developed strategies can advance program goals and outcomes.

Two million people are incarcerated in the U.S and upon release, 68% of prisoners will return within a three year period (Durose, Cooper & Sydner, 2014). In an updated report (Alper & Durose, 2018), BJS (Bureau of Justice Statistics) finds that 79% of prisoners will recidivate within six years, while 83% return within a nine year period. Most prisoners (82%) will be arrested within the first three years of release, with 44% arrested within the first year; only 24% of prisoners recidivate in year nine, demonstrating recidivism occurs earlier, not later, during the post-incarceration period. Skills (i.e., communication, parenting, etc.), learned prior to release may help to delay or inhibit this process by maintaining or mending familial relationships and mitigating recidivism rates; strong family bonds, particularly for women in relationship to their children, often serve as a protective factor against recidivism (Loper & Tuerk, 2006). Women typically feel the pains of imprisonment more harshly than their male counterparts because of the separation from their children (Collica, 2006). They suffer from higher rates of depression, self-destructive behavior, and other types of mental illness (Jasperson, 2010; Keaveny & Zauszniewski; 1999). Presently, 1.7 million children in the U.S. have a parent behind bars and these children suffer from many issues, including depression, social exclusion, family instability, anxiety, substance use, early criminality, conduct disorder, antisocial behavior, poor educational attainment, educational under performance, school failure, mental health issues, limited future income, physical ailments, and unhealthy intimate relationships (Aaron & Dallaire, 2010; Christain, 2009; Maruschak, Glaze, & Mumola, 2010; Mears, & Siennick, 2015; Miller & Barnes, 2015; Will, Logan, Whalen, & Loper, 2014). Seventy percent of incarcerated women are responsible for a minor child (Maruschak, Glaze, & Mumola, 2010) and these children are six times more likely to be criminal justice involved (Purvis, 2013). Therefore, restoring mother-child bonds could impact intergenerational offending patterns.

Read the full article.