- For a child, having a family member removed from one’s life for a long period of time feels like a death and takes a huge emotional toll. Over 96,000 kids in Oklahoma experience this trauma during their childhood years.
- Trauma from having a mother or father imprisoned has many negative lifelong effects. Social and educational problems, economic hardships, and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are all very common obstacles for these children.
- To these kids, their parents will always be “Mom” and “Dad,” and they will always long for a connection with them, no matter what their parents may have done to become incarcerated.
- In-person visits between children and parents in prison are rarely possible, and for those few kids who do get to visit a parent behind bars, the experience is often very stressful, with long waiting times and limited or prohibited contact. And sadly, the DOC computers do not have the capability for Skype or other types of virtual visits between these parents and children.
- Thankfully, OK Messages Project helps preserve vital family bonds by providing ways for parents and children to stay connected during incarceration. “Virtual visits” and bedtime story sessions are recorded and delivered to the children along with the books that the parents read to them. This powerful and bonding experience of reading aloud significantly improves the children’s behavioral and educational outcomes, and is the most effective strategy to ensure that children of incarcerated parents will thrive.
Won’t you help OK Messages Project help these kids stay out of prison and give them hope for a brighter future? Click here to donate now.