Ten Children Spend Time with Their Incarcerated Parents for Special Summer Camp
(Concord, NH) The Children of Incarcerated Parents summer camp program returned to the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord for the second year in a row during the week of August 19-23, 2013. This year, the Children of Incarcerated Parents (CIP) summer camp also made its debut at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women in Goffstown. A total of ten children were able to come into the Family Connections Center at both prisons and spend extra time with their parents, in addition to spending twelve days at Camp Spaulding. The CIP camp is created in partnership with Child and Family Services of NH.
The children worked on arts and crafts with their parents and created a large mural entitled “A Perfect Day with Dad/Mom.” In preparation for the CIP program, incarcerated parents in the Family Connections Center program had to take a child development class, maintain good behavior in the prison, continue attending weekly parenting support groups and perform a musical skit to songs that their children had picked out. At the Concord facility six life sized murals were crafted by the fathers and their children. In Goffstown the mothers and children created a mini mural. Under normal circumstances the children can only visit with their parents two days per week for three hours at a time in the general visiting rooms. In this case they were able to spend six-to-seven hours in a more private one on one setting to encourage positive family development and relations.
The tuition for the summer camp was funded by donations which also paid for the food, an artist, and art supplies used during the prison visits. A grant from the New Hampshire Council on the Arts also made it possible for a juried artist to come into the facilities to assist the parents and children and creating the mural.
Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn said, “We appreciate the support and all of the hard work that went into making this even possible. Improving relations between inmates and their children can make a significant contribution to the successful rehabilitation of our prison population.”