The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world. With only 5% of the world’s population the U.S. incarcerates 25% of the world’s prisoners. Over 2.5 million people are incarcerated in the United States, leaving behind 2.7+ million children and countless family members and friends traumatized by the experience. Unfortunately, history tells us that as many as 70% of children of prisoners will one day become prisoners themselves and at least 65% of prisoners returning to our communities will recidivate within 3 years after being released from prison. These unacceptable and tragic facts diminish the quality of life and safety of our communities for all of us and call for effective resolution.
Credible research finds that strong family support during and following a loved one’s incarceration is crucial to the prisoner’s successful community reentry and family reunification. The conference goal 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 prisoners and their families.
To improve the quality of life for the prison family through increased awareness, education, networking and support promoting positive relationships that lessen the traumatic impact and reduce risks resulting from the incarceration of a loved one.
6th Annual National Prisoner’s Family Conference
For Those Who Care and Wish to DO More
February 19-21, 2014 – Dallas, Texas
(Night Hotel North Dallas)
MESSAGE FROM THE CONFERENCE CHAIR:
The family is the greatest resource for prisoners. Credible research indicates strong family support during and following incarceration is crucial to prisoners’ successful community re-entry and family reunification. The conference provides powerful resources for strengthening the prison family and improving 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.
In reality, families are secondary victims of crimes, yet historically they have received little, if any attention. As a result they typically withdraw and isolate from the mainstream community, suffering alone in silence as a hidden population. For far too long the prison family has remained an invisible, growing sub-culture in our society often shunned with as much disdain as the prisoner.
We must change this perspective; we must bring hope where there is none. It is 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.
We hope you will join us at the next Prisoner’s Family Conference. We promise you will be enriched by the experience.
Carolyn Esparza, LPC
Conference Originator and Chair