Technology Helps Keep Families Connected While A Parent Is Jailed26 April 2019
By Maura Christie
PUBLISHED 1:39 PM ET Apr. 25, 2019
When a parent is sent to jail or prison, the bond with their child is often lost or put in jeopardy.
Now, there's a new program to help make sure families don't miss out on that precious time.
Technology like FaceTime and Skype will start playing a role in eight prisons, allowing parents that are incarcerated to visit with their children more often.
State Senator Tim Kennedy announced Thursday that $180,000 was secured for the new project, called Family Works Buffalo.
The Osborne Association has helped launched similar programs in other areas and for this project, worked alongside the Community Health Center of Buffalo, where the video visitor center will be located.
The calls will still be monitored but the family-friendly center will have living rooms with toys and even the same books so parents and kids can read together.
Officials called Family Works Buffalo an important way to make sure parents and kids have a good relationship so when parents are released, they can start fresh together.
"People that stay connected to their families while they're incarcerated are six times more likely to succeed on release so starting inside is important,” said Liz Gaynes, president and CEO of the Osborne Association. “More important than suddenly seeing this child for the first time when you come home, it's really going to be hard to adjust, I mean kids are hard no matter what and they will have years’ worth of demands and expectations of a parent who comes home."
These video chats however are not meant to replace in-person visits as officials said those are still important.
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