Parenting programs in jail could be positive for mothers, children

Mothers in jail would benefit from participation in parenting programs, which could help their children avoid negative outcomes down the road, say researchers at U-M’s School of Public Health Prevention Research Center.

The U-M team used an existing parenting intervention, the Strengthening Families Program, and adapted it for the jail setting. Working with a community-based agency in Flint called Motherly Intercession, agency Director Shirley Cochran and U-M’s Alison Miller piloted the Parenting While Incarcerated program in the Genesee County jail.

“Mothers were very enthusiastic about the opportunity to participate in the program. It was a chance to focus on their child in a positive way while they were incarcerated,” said Miller, an assistant research professor in the U-M School of Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior and Health Education.

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