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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221758 Find in a Library
Title: Intermediate Sanction That Fosters the Mother-Child Bond: A Process Evaluation of Summit House
Journal: Women & Criminal Justice  Volume:18  Issue:3  Dated:2007  Pages:47-80
Author(s): Pauline K. Brennan
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 34
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Corrections
Washington, DC 20534
Grant Number: TA 04C2006
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This process evaluation assessed the implementation of Summit House, a residential alternative-to-incarceration in North Carolina that provides a home-like setting for female offenders and their children.
Abstract: The evaluation found that the Summit House program has a positive impact on the mother-child relationship. The overwhelming majority of the women in the program noted how much they valued living with their children, which would not have been possible had they been jailed or imprisoned. They all realized that noncompliance with Summit House requirements would mean separation from their children. Gender-responsive, best-practice programs foster the mother-child bond and provide a context that helps the women build competency in parenting. The mother is the primary caretaker of her children at Summit House. She agrees to refrain from using physical discipline, and she learns the alternative discipline techniques of time-out and redirection. Residents are expected to participate in all in-house parenting groups, complete assignments in the nurturing and child-development curriculum, work toward the attainment of set parenting goals, cook nutritionally balanced meals, and attend to their children's health needs. Summit House links the women and their children to health-care providers in the community. Although the overall impact of the Summit House program is positive, improvements could be made. Staff should examine more closely the long-term effects of separation of the mothers from other children who do not live with them at Summit House. For mothers with children who do not reside at Summit House, staff should consider additional ways to facilitate the reunification process. Administrators should also consider hiring a parenting expert. The evaluation obtained data from program records and materials, conducted site visits, and interviewed current residents and graduates of the program. 4 tables, 14 notes, and 40 references
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Children at risk; Children of incarcerated offenders; Intermediate sanctions; North Carolina; Parent and child education; Parent education
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