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More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent: That is 1 in 28 children. Approximately 10 million children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives. According to one study, 59% of incarcerated fathers and 58% of incarcerated mothers had no personal visits from any of their children. In addition, incarceration can decrease a parent’s confidence in their own ability to successfully parent. Even very young children can sense the parent’s self doubt and may reject the parent as unpredictable, unloving, and uninvolved. An incarcerated parent who feels rejected by or isolated from their child may be more likely to act out in a correctional setting.
Aunt Mary’s Storybook, a Companions Journeying Together program in 17 Illinois correctional facilities, helps incarcerated parents connect with their children. This unique program allows incarcerated parents to pick out an age-appropriate book for each of their children. Then, with our help, they record themselves reading the book to their children, and then the book and recording are mailed to the child. We welcome your support!