To strengthen the connection between incarcerated parents and their families while facilitating ties to their community through education and support.
To meet the need of supporting incarcerated families in New Hampshire, the Family Connections Center was created in 1998 at the Lakes Region Facility. At that time, this State prison in Laconia was a co-ed medium and minimum-security prison. The initial family support program was created as a partnership with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Family Studies Department. The Center has remained a part of the NH Department of Corrections since its inception. Approximately half of the funding comes from the NH DOC, the other half comes from various grants and donations.
The Family Connections Center (FCC) has formed additional collaborations with many community agencies and programs to expand to other correctional facilities. In 2006, FCC partnered with Child and Family Services of NH to collaborate on a grant from the Federal government for a Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. This partnership has allowed FCC to expand programming to the NH State Prison for men in Concord, NH and the Northern NH Correctional Facility in Berlin, NH. This initiative strives to support families affected by incarceration through support, referrals, relationship classes and family re-entry planning available to eligible incarcerated fathers and their partners.
In June 2009, the Lakes Region Facility in Laconia was closed. This ended the program visits and dispersed staff to the Concord and Berlin facilities. The Family Connections Center will still continue to fulfill its mission while rebuilding programming at all of the state prisons.