Here’s another way IDOC helps inmates succeed when they’re released

canva inmate of inmate hugging spouse
By Kristi Skeem, LPC, ACADC, Idaho State Correctional Center

For the past four years, Idaho State Correctional Center has had a Friends/Family Night for offenders who will be released within the next year. 

This Family/Friends night allows the offender to invite their loved ones to visit them with some extra special family activities.

This was a vision first developed and driven by ISCC’s first Warden Randy Blades, and has continued through the motivation of Warden Jay Christensen. Studies have shown that offenders releasing to a network community of individuals who have developed true care and concern; are much less likely to recidivate. 

So, ISCC provides a quarterly night of wholesome fun and games. Program Manager Kristi Skeem along with Correctional Case Managers and Family/Friends night Coordinator Gladymar Rodriguez, Christopher Contreras, Barbara Saade, Juan Lemus, Fariborz Parthor, and several others over the years, at ISCC H-block; plan the event. 

Specifically, on Tuesday May 07, 2019, we had upwards of 50 offenders inviting their families to the event that included things like an 80’s themed offender band, refreshments, and photo booth props designed and created by offenders for themed night. Also, the big wins come with BINGO!

Families play together and shout out BINGO with enthusiasm together to win a prize!

But the greatest prize is to watch families reunite with their father, son, brother, husband in a family friendly environment building a deeper connection prior to their release within the next year. 

Story published: 05/15/2019
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