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Prisons providing arts and crafts for inmates, families to reduce trauma

March 17, 2019, John McDevitt - KYW Newsradio

Officials hope the new arts and crafts program at 25 correctional facilities in Pennsylvania will help children feel more comfortable when visiting an incarcerated parent.

Coloring books, markers, paper and other craft supplies are purchased and controlled by the correctional facility. They will be available to families and an incarcerated parent during visiting hours to reduce trauma for the children.

"Really we need to make it less traumatic. It's traumatic enough for the child that they had their parent convicted and taken away from them and then to have to go into this historic setting to visit their parent you know it could be even more traumatizing," said Susan McNaughton, a spokesperson from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. "So, we actually painted wall murals on all of our visiting rooms. We had children's play areas--that's been in our institutions, so this is just another step to help the children and their parent to continue their bond," she continued.

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