Incarcerated fathers learned parenting skills through a 30-hour, seven-week course.

Incarcerated fathers learned parenting skills through a 30-hour, seven-week course.

By Lt. Erick Smith, AA/Public Information Officer
California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran

Twenty inmates from the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran recently graduated from the seven-week, 30-hour Positive Parenting Program  facilitated by Natalie Sierra, Family Liaison Support Services for Friends Outside.

The curriculum is based on cognitive behavioral principles that help inmates to develop an appropriate set of parenting skills to address the special needs and interests of incarcerated parents.

Relevant topics are covered throughout the course such as respectful communication, an increased sense of self-responsibility, how to address co-parenting and legal parent responsibilities while maintaining reasonable expectations and developing problem solving skills.  The Positive Parenting Program helps inmates develop support systems and work toward improving their sense of self-respect and well-being.  The class meets requirements of the California Welfare and Institution code for court-ordered parents.

“The inmates involved in our parenting class all demonstrated a willingness to learn how to be better parents,” said Sierra. “After seven weeks, you could see that these incarcerated parents were actually able to grow and identify things that they, themselves, can do to help foster a better relationship between their children and themselves with the skills they learned.”