Overview

Family Services Programs are multi-faceted and may be provided by outside agencies contracted by the Department, facility staff, and/or community volunteers. These programs include:

  • Parent education programs for both male and female incarcerated individuals with attention to the same or similar programs for the non-incarcerated partner. Some programs include reading and audiotape books for the children.
  • Individual and family counseling to assist in enhancing familial relationships, including a tele-visit component.
  • A nursery program for eligible incarcerated women who give birth in prison, enabling them to maintain custody of their child in the nursery for up to a year. This program provides daily parenting classes, day care, crisis intervention, advocacy, child placement assistance, and discharge assistance.
  • Upon release, participants have case management services, general support, and assistance with referrals to agency providers in the community.

Goals

  • To enrich and strengthen family relationships in anticipation of the incarcerated individual's eventual return to the community.
  • To enrich and strengthen bonds between parent and child.

Admission Requirements

  • Admission requirements vary according to each individual program.
  • The Nursery Program is available to women who are pregnant at the time of admission to DOCCS and who meet program criteria.

Locations

Family Services Programs are available at various facilities throughout the state.

Video

NYS DOCCS Bedford Hills Correctional Facility Nursery Program

Incarcerated individuals participating in the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility Nursery Program discuss their experience with the unique program that has been in existence at the facility since 1901.

Bedford Hills Correctional Facility Superintendent Russell outlines the rewards and challenges of operating the program.

See photos of participating mothers and their infants from holidays, birthdays and other occasions.