After a short break for the holidays our Bridging Boundaries programs are back in full swing.
We are also excited to announce that after almost 4 years we will be able to hold an extended family visit this summer for the women and families involved in our Moms & Kids program!
The S.L.A.M. program at the Bridgeport and Hartford juvenile detention centers are now running special share days in person every 4 weeks, allowing the young men to share more of their work with their families as well as with detention center and JDPP staff. We are tremendously proud of the work these boys are doing and the courage they show in sharing it with us.
Our New Beginnings partnership with Trinity College begins next week. We have 8 returning citizens participating and several students. The theme “Entrances and Exits” will be the frame for this semester. Be on the lookout for information about the culmination for the program later this spring.
Finally, our Dads & Kids program at Cybulski Reintegration Center began this week. The men will be focusing on the theme of “Courage”: how courage informs the choices they have made in their past and how they can use courage to make healthy choices for their families and their futures.
The Dads & Kids program at Manson Youth Institution begins in March. This will be the third session held with these young dads. The growth in the participants has been inspiring. They have become more aware of themselves and more enthusiastic about their commitment to their small children.
The dads in both programs said that through these programs they have discovered new parts of themselves, they feel more open to sharing their feelings, and that the program has made them feel stronger as a dad. In the words of one participant, “It made me feel like a dad again.”
All our Bridging Boundaries programs inspire change in the individuals that participate, the teaching artists that facilitate them, and the family and audience members that witness them. Those in carceral settings are among the most invisible and muted populations in our country. It feels especially important to give them voice and connection and the power of this work is palpable. “[I felt] togetherness both with community and family. [Bridging Boundaries] de-stigmatized visitations.”