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Family resiliency team piloting parenting classes in Minnesota prisons

By Ellie McCann, Extension educator in family resiliency

A family resiliency team with the Extension Center for Family Development has received a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Corrections to develop and deliver parenting classes for incarcerated parents and caregivers. I am principal investigator for the team. Other members are family resiliency educators Becky Hagen Jokela, Anita Harris Hering, Lori Hendrickson, and Sharon Powell.

The parenting classes, which began in November, are being offered at three prisons across the state—Stillwater, Oak Park Heights, and Moose Lake. Stillwater and Moose Lake will host three 12-week, two-hour class sessions. Oak Park Heights will host one 12-week, two-hour class session. Classes will continue through June 30, 2018.

Exterior of Minnesota Correctional Facility Stillwater, Minnesota.
Minnesota Correctional Facility—Stillwater.
Photo credit: McGhiever via Wikimedia Commons

Participants are learning parenting and relationship skills for use while still incarcerated and upon release. The workshops are based on three different curricula:
During this pilot year of the program, we will be collecting pre- and post-data, as well as session evaluations to capture impact and make adjustments to the curriculum before finalizing it. Facilitators will use Flipgrid after each class to record their experiences.
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