Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $744,565)
The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) proposes to reduce the barriers to contact and communication between parents experiencing incarceration and their children through fostering positive family engagement in well-designed and sensitive child-friendly visit spaces and activities that encourage them to work on existing relationships, establish new bonds, or repair strained relationships. This grant will allow DOC to achieve the following two goals: design and creation of child-friendly spaces and waiting areas in all facilities and provide interactive activities (educational games, toys, books, etc.) and 4 well-trained Visit Facilitators to facilitate child-friendly visits in all facilities. Program objectives include: create a comprehensive well-researched plan/guidance on appropriate design and creation of child-friendly spaces and waiting areas (selection of physical location, space preparation/minor renovation, wall-painting, interior décor, selection and placement of furniture, flooring, ceiling, carpeting, etc., of the visit and waiting areas); create 7 new well-designed child-friendly spaces (including renovation and painting of walls to create a more welcoming, encouraging and normalized environment for children); purchase of items/furniture/tools/equipment/resources for the child-friendly spaces; purchase of toys, kits, games, materials etc., for family- and child-friendly activities; and employ 4 Well-Trained Visit Greeters/Facilitators (one Visit Greeter/Facilitator per ~2 facilities, covering all facilities). DOC Visit facilitators will also be trained to perform appropriate reporting and documenting of instances and receiving direct feedback to improve future experiences and ensure protection of children at all times.