We teach evidence-based parenting programs to imprisoned men and women at two county jails in the greater Chicagoland area.

Companions Journeying Together teaches the Parenting Inside Out® (PIO) curriculum to imprisoned people at the DeKalb County Jail (Sycamore, IL) and the Kane County Jail (St. Charles, IL). Parenting Inside Out is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral parent management skills training program created for incarcerated parents by Pathfinders of Oregon, a nonprofit organization in Portland, Oregon. The curriculum is licensed to Companions Journeying Together to utilize in Illinois.

Our PIO classes typically meet twice each week for two hours over the course of five weeks. Each week, a different topic is presented, discussed, and reflected upon. These topics include effective speaking skills, listening skills, problem solving skills, child-centered play, the job of the parent and the job of the child, giving effective directions and encouragement, rules/rewards/consequences, time out and privilege removal, and a special final class on reunification.

The PIO curriculum was subjected to an effectiveness evaluation by Pathfinders of Oregon. Their study found that at one year post release, PIO participants in the study were less likely to have been rearrested and less likely to report having been involved in criminal behavior. They also found that participants of the program reported more total family contact, were more likely to be involved in the lives of their children, were more likely to use positive reinforcement, and had lower parental stress scores than their peers who did not participate in the Parenting Inside Out program. As more data becomes available, Companions Journeying Together hopes to publish the results of its parenting classes.

Our parenting classes are currently on hold.