Amachi Pittsburgh strengthens and supports families, as their loved ones return home from incarceration, to help reduce trauma for children and to prevent recidivism for parents. We do this by providing post-incarceration reentry services to those who are returning to the county from state facilities.
Beyond our mentoring programing, our holistic services included in family strengthening and reunification support are:
- Facilitation of in-home activities to strengthen family bonds, parent-child relations, communication, etc. (This work formed organically but we are working on a special project supported by POISE Foundation to implement an evidence-based family strengthening program that encompasses these current activities.)
- Events and activities both in the community and Allegheny County Jail (ACJ). We partner with Tickets for Kids and other organizations so that mentors/mentees and families can be engaged in the arts, cultural and recreational activities (visits to museums, symphony, plays, Science Center, pro sports games, bowling, etc.) We also hosts “Amachi Saturdays” in the Family Activity Center (waiting area) at ACJ to help children prepare for visits with their incarcerated parent, and debrief following visitation
- Evidence-based parenting classes for parents returning home from correctional facilities to aid in the reunification process (recently won state contract)
Family strengthening and reunification support is an area requiring further evaluation. Research links family strengthening and reunification to decreased trauma for children and a reduction in recidivism for parents. Future Amachi Pittsburgh evaluations will investigate how to specifically connect our programming and activities to capture similar outcomes.
We continue to work with the PA Department of Corrections in exploring future opportunities to take our work to scale based on clear, well-documented outcomes and associated cost savings, and that can be potentially supported through social impact bonds.