F.U.L.L Program

Mission:

The F.U.L.L. program is designed to work as an “institution-based program” which uses a combination of literacy and multi media as tools for reintegrating short-term inmates with their children and families. Our goal is to increase the literacy rate among incarcerated inmates and their children while reducing the recidivism rate in our county.

FACT:

According to the Department of Justice, nationwide there are 2.3 million people in federal, state and local prisons. More than 700,000 people are released nationally from state and federal prisons each year and more than 9 million from local jails. The national three-year recidivism rate is 50%.

Solution?

The F.U.L.L. program was created as a means to reconnect incarcerated parents with their children through literacy. By using the F.U.L.L. five step program, incarcerated parents are enlightened about the importance of reading to their child and the role they can still play, even while they are incarcerated.

Why?

Illiteracy and crime are closely related. Eighty-five percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. The Department of Justice states,

"The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure." Statistics show that children who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or the recipient of welfare. Over 70% of inmates in America's prisons cannot read above a fourth grade.

 

Social Economic Benefits:

Penal institution records show that inmates have a 16% chance of returning to prison when enrolled in a literacy program, as opposed to 70% who receive no support. These statistics equate to a total taxpayer cost of $25,000 annually per inmate and nearly double that amount for juvenile offenders.

How does F.U.L.L. work?

Parents are videoed reading one of the children’s books published by Big Head Books. The DVD recording, along with a customized book and t-shirt, are sent to the family or caregiver of the child. The child can then have its incarcerated parent read him or her a bedtime story that can be experienced whenever they want, just by playing the DVD. This program gives the Participant a legitimate pathway to reestablishing his or her parental responsibilities.

Besides allowing the children to connect with their parents in a unique way, F.U.L.L. exposes them to the importance of literacy and assists in severing the cycle of incarceration for future generations. The bond between the Participant, child and family that this program creates is a catalyst for making what can be a very difficult and stressful time of adjusting to reentry a loving and joyful reunion.

Testimonials

“This program has turned out to be a win-win for the Participants and their families, while providing the House of Corrections with a fantastic incentive tool that has helped us to engage our population with a new approach to addressing recidivism in Berkshire County.”

- Jack Quinn, Superintendent - Berkshire County House of Corrections.

“My wife tells me that my son will not go to bed without ‘DADDY’S BOOK’. My wife also says that since receiving the book his ability to speak in full sentences has dramatically increased.”

- Mike Williams, F.U.L.L. Participant - Berkshire County House of Corrections.

“I hadn’t seen my daughter in months and was contemplating if she’d be better off without me. I fought back feelings of loneliness, confusion and abandonment. Doing drugs, selling them and violence got in the way of my ability to be a father to my daughter. She would cry and throw a fit when I’d hold her. When my daughter first got the DVD of me she was amazed. Daddy was “in the TV” reading her a book. Since then she loves to play with me during visits and she says she loves me; it’s amazing. The toughest thing is watching your kid walk out after a visit. At least I can give her a little piece of Daddy. F.U.L.L. helped me more than I thought it would - it helped me reconnect with my daughter.”

- Michael Sitko, F.U.L.L. Participant - Berkshire County House of Corrections.