"What Works" in Programs Serving Fathers Involved in the Criminal Justice System? : Lessons from Evidence-Based Evaluations.

Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Bronte-Tinkew, Jacinta.
Burkhauser, Mary.
Ericson, Sara.
Metz, Allison.
Author (Organization)
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse.
Resource Type
Resource Format
Resource Language

"What works" in programs serving incarcerated fathers and fathers involved in the criminal justice system? Between 1991 and 1999, the percentage of children with an incarcerated father increased by 58 percent, and it was estimated that 721,500 state and federal prisoners, 93 percent of whom were male, had fathered at least one child under the age of 18. When a father is incarcerated, there are repercussions not only for himself, but also for his spouse or partner, and most importantly for his children. With rising rates of incarceration, there has been an increased interest in developing programs that specifically address the needs of fathers in the criminal justice system. While expectations for programs to promote responsible fatherhood among fathers involved in the criminal justice system are high, information about which programs and practices are most effective is limited.

Only rigorous evaluations of programs can provide evidence of whether or not programs have the desired effects. Fortunately, the existence of several rigorous evaluations of recent programs for fathers involved in the criminal justice system allow us to make preliminary conclusions about those features that make for effective fatherhood programs. This brief identifies eight common features of "model" programs for fathers involved in the criminal justice system using principles derived from rigorous evaluation research. (Author abstract)

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