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Connecting inmates to their kids through storytelling

March 26 2021
Image by Ketut Subiyanto
Image by Ketut Subiyanto

You may have heard before that giving prisoners access to books helps lower recidivism rates. Well, a recent study in the US suggests that allowing inmates to record themselves reading a story to their children may have a similar effect.

Inmates and wardens alike report positive results from programs like Reading Legacies, which allow parents to connect with their children while away in prison. It would seem that such programs help both the children and their incarcerated parent with self-image issues, which lowers recidivism rates in the adults and helps combat common problems children of inmates face, such as depression.

Why would reading to one’s child help lower recidivism?

According to the findings, inmates being able to connect to their child(ren) facilitates transition back into society. The arrangement also helps the parents view themselves as something other than a criminal and to encourage them to strive for a positive future.

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