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Mona is a big woman whose powerful appearance can be intimidating. She calls herself ugly. For the second time in two years, Mona is in jail for drug related crimes.
An addict and a mother, Mona is typical of the participants who are enrolled in a child abuse/parenting program at the Nassau County New York Correctional Facility. The program was spearheaded by Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS), a private, nonprofit community based organization supported by the Junior League of Long Island, New York and the National Council of Jewish Women. Partially funded by a grant from the Hearst Foundation, the parenting program was conceived to intervene in the cycle of abuse by reaching a traditionally neglected population and equipping them with concrete skills and behavioral alternatives to abuse.
As jails burgeon with drug addicted parents and the foster care system becomes overburdened because of the chronic incarceration of these parents, the need for child abuse/parenting programs in correctional facilities becomes apparent. Many of the inmates are incarcerated for drug related offenses. …