There are approximately 2,5 million people incarcerated in the United States, many of them mothers, fathers or grandparents; caregivers with young children left behind. Unfortunately, at least 65% of those incarcerated will recidivate within 3 years after being released from prison.
National statistics indicate almost 2 million minor children have an incarcerated parent, and over 50% of those are under age 10. There is strong indication that as much as 70% of children with an incarcerated parent are likely to become incarcerated in the future
Credible research finds that strong family support during and following a loved one’s incarceration is crucial to their successful community reentry and family reunification. The goal of the conference is to strengthen the prison family and promote successful reentry and reunification, ultimately reducing the recidivism rate in the country. To that end, the National Prisoner’s Family Conference provides critical connections and information to improve the quality of life for the entire prison family and offers ample networking opportunities with those from across the country serving the prisoner and their family.
To provide a forum to improve the quality of life for the prison family through increased awareness, education and networking promoting positive relationships that reduce risks created by the incarceration of a loved one.
National Annual Prisoner’s Family Conference
For Those Who Care and Wish to DO More
6th Annual Conference
February 19-21, 2014 – Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas
NEW! Prisoner’s Family & Friends United at www.pffunited.org an on-line extenstion of the Prisoner’s Family Conference.
Moving the conference from solely an education, information and support forum, in 2012 two evenings of the conference were devoted to Advocacy on behalf of the prison family and the First-ever Prison Family Bill of Rights was drafted. Subsequently an on-line extension of the conference was developed with the launching of the Prisoner’s Family & Friends United website (www.pffunited.org). This partnership website offers on-line information; practical services and advocacy on behalf of prisoners and their families.
PFFUnited ADVOCACY ACTION NOTICE
PFFUnited is taking a lead position in the END MASS Incarceration Movement initiated at the 2013 National Prisoner’s Family Conference. The goal of the movement is to take concerns related to the many issues fueling the MASS Incarceration in our country to our state and national legislators. Concerns include such issues as: Wrongful Sentencing; Life Without Parole; Juveniles in Adult Prisons; Racism; Unjust and Inequitable Sentencing; Lack of Independent Oversight of Entire Criminal Justice System and many others. A March on Washington DC is being planned for the Spring of 2014. Those interested in participating should e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PFFUnited is coordinating a national campaign to eliminate the AEDPA Provision limiting submission of 2254 Federal Writ of Habeas Corpus in criminal conviction/sentencing appeals to one (1) year, preventing those unjustly convicted and inequitably sentenced from submitting appeals in violation of the Constitutional of the United States of America. Visit www.pffunited.org or contact PFFUnited at email@example.com to join and support the effort and for details.
LETTER FROM THE CONFERENCE CHAIR:
Thank you for visiting the Prisoner’s Family Conference website. The family is the greatest resource for prisoners. Credible research indicates strong family support during and following incarceration is crucial to the successful community re-entry of prisoners. Therefore, this conference seeks to strengthen the prison family and its relationship with the criminal justice system by bringing together those from across the country with a sincere desire to improve the quality of life of those touched by the incarceration of a loved one.
Through no fault of their own prison families are inadvertent secondary victims of crimes, yet historically they have received little, if any attention and typically drift off into the proverbial woodwork to suffer alone in silence as a hidden population. For far too long the prison family has remained an invisible, yet growing sub-culture in our society. Perhaps the wife of one California prisoner explained this best when she wrote:
“What a wonderful conference. Outsiders (people who don’t have loved ones in prison) can’t even fathom the hurt created for those of us with loved ones in prison, or even the prisoners, themselves … The point is that the public is ignorant to what really goes on inside the walls, and what goes on inside the walls affects us, the families of prisoners. We must bring attention to what we as families must live with, knowing our loved ones are in such an environment as this and we can’t do anything to help them.”
We must change this perspective; we must bring hope where there is none. It becomes the responsibility of those who know the trauma created by incarceration of a loved one to bring awareness where none exists. To that end this conference brings together diverse individuals and organizations serving many diverse purposes on behalf of prisoners and their families. Yet with all the diversity each entity represented has the singular purpose: improving the quality of life for all prison family members.
The Prisoner’s Family Conferences offers those with genuine concerns for prisoners and their families an opportunity to unite, to educate the uninformed; to build best practices programs; to improve relations with the criminal justice system and to advocate on behalf of the prison family. Together we will encourage one another and we will generate a much greater impact than we ever would by going the course alone.
Developing awareness of the circumstances of the prison family is crucial and is at the heart of our purposes. However, this conference has the potential to do far more. In fact, by attending the conference many prison family members and returning prisoners have already gained confidence and received encouragement; many organizations have learned better ways to provide services that will benefit prison families across the country. In 2012, a coalition of attendees moved the conference efforts into advocacy on behalf of prison families by drafting the Prison Family Bill of Rights. Together we are making a positive difference.
There is still much more we can accomplish—together. We hope you will join us at the next Prisoner’s Family Conference. Become part of the solution. We promise you will be enriched by doing so.
Carolyn Esparza, LPC
Conference Originator and Chair