What Works in Programs for Incarcerated Fathers?

Wednesday Oct 5, 2011

A new evaluative study suggests a modest, but promising level of success for  InsideOut Dad, an American educational program for incarcerated fathers. Launched by the Maryland-based National Fatherhood Initiative in 2005, InsideOut Dad is a re-entry program designed to reduce recidivism rates  and support incarcerated fathers' parenting by improving their knowledge and attitudes, connecting fathers to their families and preparing them for release from prison. The program, launched in 2005 by the Maryland-based National Fatherhood Initiative, is now offered in  over 20 states as well as the City of New York.

The study, conducted by members of Rutgers University's Economic Development Research Group, used a quasi-experimental design to compare 307 fathers who had completed the program with a group of 104 fathers who did not take the course. The participants were all incarcerated in New Jersey. Most were African-American and had not graduated from high school. Quantitative data indicated that participants experienced statistically significant changes on certain measures of confidence, knowledge, behaviour and attitude. Qualitative data revealed that both participants and facilitators saw the program as beneficial.

The study authors recommended that InsideOut Dad be implemented more widely and suggested a number of possible of improvements based on recommendations from stakeholders.

Read more about InsideOut Dad

Read more about the study.