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Help for parents (and others) who leave jail

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news Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Crow Wing County recently implemented a program to work with inmates in the Crow Wing County jail. The goal of the Release Advance Planning (RAP) program is to assist inmates who volunteer for the program to remain out of jail in the future.

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As formerly incarcerated parents are assisted to find employment, adequate housing, needed medical care, etc. they are far more likely to remain out of jail in the future. This helps minimize or prevent some undesirable consequences to their children.

Surveys taken in the United States as well as other developed countries show that children whose parents have been arrested and incarcerated may experience the trauma of sudden separation from their sole caregiver, and most are vulnerable to feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, depression and guilt. If and when they are moved from caretaker to caretaker the behavioral consequences can be severe, absent positive intervention‹emotional withdrawal, failure in school, delinquency and risk of intergenerational incarceration. In short, when a parent is incarcerated the child is likely to suffer from one or more mental health issues, and associated behavioral problems.

When people remain out of jail there are financial benefits to the county in the form of reduced costs, social benefits such as less criminal behavior in the community, and the intangible benefits of healthier, happier families.

The RAP Program is a response by Crow Wing County to the need for improving the lives of its citizens while simultaneously maintaining or lowering the cost of county services. While it is true that no one can undo their past choices or behaviors, everyone can learn not to repeat past mistakes. When incarcerated parents recognize past mistakes, and that with a little assistance from the RAP Program they can provide a better, healthier life for themselves and their children, all of the residents of Crow Wing County benefit.

The mission of Crow Wing County Community Services is to promote and protect the health, well-being and self-sufficiency of all residents in Crow Wing County.

For more information about the Release Advance Planning Program contact Glen Olsen at 218-824-1268.

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