On Saturday, June 4, 2016, the DC Corrections Information Council (CIC) facilitated a family engagement letter-writing party, entitled, “Pens to Paper to Parents in Prison”. The idea for the event was born on April 26, 2016 during the CIC Pop-up Think Tank when family members, local leaders and formerly incarcerated individuals came to-gether to discuss strategies to increase family engagement with the nearly 4900 DC residents in Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) facilities across the country.
Sixteen families attended the event, eager to share their experiences, insight and write letters together. One of the event’s highlights was a conversation between 11-year old Madison Strempek and Tony Lewis, both authors who have fathers in pris-on. They have become spokespersons for this population in an effort to encourage pro-social coping skills and reduce stigma for children with incarcerated parents.
Others on hand to lend support to children and family members with incarcerated loved ones included: Dr. Avon Hart-Johnson of DC Project Connect, Kyle Bacon of Dreamer’s Academy, Yasmine Arrington of Scholarchips, and Yukia Hugee of London Bridges Inc. Edward Doxen from the Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM) also partici-pated in the festivities.
Special Thanks to the CIC staff and interns who facilitated this event. Most of all we extend our sincere gratitude to The Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Ward 8 for hosting the CIC family engagement letter-writing party and to Susan Gal-braith for her generous donation for refreshments.
As the holidays approach, the CIC will facilitate letter-writing parties in an effort to continue family engagement through written correspondence.
Please see link to bulletin for event photos and more ways to communicate with incarcerated loved ones.