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ERIC Number: EJ1053957
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0740-2708
Evaluation of a Family Wellness Course for Persons in Prison
Bell, Linda G.; Cornwell, Connie S.
Journal of Correctional Education, v66 n1 p45-57 Jan 2015
This research supports the value of maintaining the family ties of persons in prison. Family healing work will likely affect multiple relationships within the family, especially for the children of prisoners, and increase the possibility of healthy and productive life choices for all family members. The Family Matters course is grounded in family systems and attachment theories. It is designed to be used with persons in prison. The overall focus of the course is on family as a system with unique history, roles, rules, strengths, and challenges. The course teaches participants communication skills and how to manage conflict, change destructive behavior patterns by strengthening action over reaction, and heal relationships. Included is a focus on connection with family members, particularly children, and parenting from prison. Participants are asked to focus on improving one or two family relationships as part of the work to be accomplished during the course. Experiential exercises, roleplays, letter writing, and telephone calls are utilized to support this work. The course was evaluated on six classes, four in a men's prison (n = 47) and two in a women's prison (n = 26). Results suggest that the participants had a better understanding of themselves and their families at the end of the course, and showed increases in self-competence and self-esteem. Many participants reported more contact with one or more family members and improvement in important relationships, particularly relationships with children. A three-month follow-up suggests that these changes were retained or improved with time.
Correctional Education Association. 8182 Lark Brown Road Suite 202, Elkridge, MD 21075. Tel: 800-783-1232; Fax: 443-459-3088; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A