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Prisoners complete parenting program

Toys and photo frames made by prisoners for their children

10 May 2013

Marngoneet Correctional Centre hosted a graduation day on Friday 10 May for the seven male prisoners from the prison's Spring Hill Neighbourhood who had just completed the Inside Parenting Program.

The graduation ceremony is an opportunity for program participants to celebrate the completion of the thirteen week program and share what they have learned with their children, families, program peers, facilitators and guests.

Each participant spoke about what they had learned from the program. Many mentioned that they felt proud that their communication and child awareness skills had improved, and because of this their relationships with their children and family had also improved. Some men also commented that the program had caused them to reflect on their own upbringing and how this had influenced their attitudes and feelings about parenting.

After the speeches and presentation of certificates, the men demonstrated some newly acquired practical skills in the art of puppetry or face painting, managing to successfully entertain an enthusiastic (and lively) audience of children. Following the barbecue lunch, participants presented their children with the hand-crafted toy they had made for their child during their time in the program.

The Inside Parenting Program commenced at the Spring Hill Neighbourhood in Marngoneet in August 2011. The key objective of the program is to develop and enhance the knowledge and skills of participants in parenting, with the aim of improving the parent-child relationship between participants and children in their lives, and ultimately reduce the likelihood of prisoners' children following their fathers' patterns of antisocial behaviour. The program is run as a full-time three month program, using information and cognitive behavioural techniques to build skills in areas such as communication, problem-solving and child development. The program also provides a fortnightly clinical support session and supported play sessions so that participants can practice their newly acquired skills when their children visit them in prison.