- For a child, having a family member removed for a short or especially a long time, (i.e., several years behind bars) is like a death and takes a huge emotional toll. 96,000 kids in Oklahoma experience this trauma during their childhood years.
- Trauma from having a mother or father imprisoned has negative lifelong effects: school and educational problems, economic hardships, and mental health issues including depression and anxiety. These difficulties can last for decades.
- No matter what the parents did, to the children they are still mom and dad, and the kids long for connection.
- For the majority of children in Oklahoma, in-person visits aren’t possible. So the “Messages from Mom” and “Messages from Dad” video visits and books provided by the OK Messages Project fill a huge gap in the lives of children.
- Maintaining the parental bond through the powerful and bonding experience of reading aloud together decreases kids’ anxiety and depression, improves their reading and school outcomes—and is the most effective strategy to ensure that children of incarcerated parents will thrive, stay in school and out of prison. OK Messages is the only program in our state reconnecting incarcerated parents with their kids through a visual and digital format.
Anything we can do to strengthen the child-parent connection builds the support system for kids! We all need to invest in these children to assure they don’t go down the prison pipeline and for them to have a brighter future.
Go to www.okmessagesproject.org to donate or volunteer. Click on Donate on Home Page: Donations Needed—Donate a book today which will take you to OMP Amazon Wish List.
You can also join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.