PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Fathers ages 18-25 years old, who are incarcerated in the Pike County Detention Center are getting a “second chance.”
Jailer Freddie Lewis and Roy Sammons of West Care have partnered on a grant from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to help fathers get a another chance to be more involved in their child / children’s lives.
The grant is good for three years and although the program is a pilot program in Pike County, it has been used in other states in the past.
According to fatherhood.org this program has been implemented in more than 25 state Departments of Corrections facilities and countless Federal of Bureau of Prison locations, InsideOut Dad® is the nation’s only evidence-based fatherhood program developed specifically for incarcerated fathers.
InsideOut Dad® connects inmate fathers to their families, helping to improve behavior while still incarcerated and to break the cycle of recidivism by developing pro-fathering attitudes, knowledge, and skills, along with strategies to prepare fathers for release. Incarcerated fathers get the tools they need to become more involved, responsible, and committed in the lives of their children — providing increased motivation for them to get out and stay out.
The annual cost of incarceration per inmate is $25,000-$40,000 depending on the state. However, the cost for materials for a prison or jail to take one incarcerated father through the InsideOut Dad® program is as little as $60 per father.
In order for the inmates to qualify to participate in the program, they must be between the ages of 18 and 25 years old, be the father of at least one child, the child does not have to reside with the father nor does the father have to have custody or currently have visitation rights to the child. The father can’t be incarcerated on felony charges. Sadly, only one percent of the inmates currently housed at the jail even qualify for the program.
InsideOut Dad is an evidenced based program which has shown an 87 percent success rate at other facilities throughout the country. Sammons is hoping Pike County will have a larger percentage of success with the program.
Sammons says the inmates enrolled in the program are separated into their own POD’s and they interacted with each other daily. “Everything they do, they do together,” Sammons said.
Sammons is looking for volunteers to mentor to the inmates. Qualified applicants for the mentoring would be required to meet with the inmate at the jail for one hour per week while he was incarcerated which is usually for a 60-90 day period.
Upon the inmate’s release, the mentor is asked to keep in touch once a week, whether it is a phone call or a meeting. Applicants for the mentoring program must be male and between 21 and 30 years of age.
Anyone interesting in becoming a volunteer for the InsideOut Dad program can contact Sammons at [email protected] or 606-331-1659.
Kendra Mahon is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 304-235-4242 ext. 2278.