Department of Corrections Strengthening Families Program - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Department of Corrections Strengthening Families Program

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This program is all about bringing offenders and their children closer together. The Department of Corrections says the seven week program first started in Spokane in mid-February.

Now other communities have adopted the program including Yakima. Each week the families meet for two hours.

Parents and children are separated for the first hour to get specific courses and then come together for a discussion. DOC staff says they want to improve public safety.

"The stronger bond offenders have with their families, the less likely they are to commit new crimes when they're released from prison," said Maria Peterson, with the Department of Corrections.

DOC also says they hope this program helps prevent these children from becoming offenders themselves. Right now they're working with kids ages 10 to 14.

Other family members are welcomed to participate. This way the whole family can improve communication and reduce conflict.