MINNEAPOLIS (WJON News) -- A new survey shows nearly one in five greater Minnesota teens are affected by parental incarceration.

The Minnesota Department of Health, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Sheriff's Association, six county jails and others have joined together in a pilot project designed to help children and incarcerated parents maintain family ties.

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The program is focused on improving the health of children and their incarcerated parents.

According to the 2022 Minnesota Student Survey, between 15% to 22% of 8th, 9th and 11th graders in greater Minnesota have reported having a parent or guardian in jail or prison currently or in the past. That compares to 10% of similar students in the metro.

(Photo: Minnesota Department of Health)
(Photo: Minnesota Department of Health)


According to the University of Minnesota and Wilder Research, having an parent in jail can lead to an increased risk of illness, poor mental health, substance abuse and poor academic outcomes.

To address the problem, MDH, U of M and six partner jails - Carlton County Jail, Olmstead County Jail, Ramsey County Correctional Facility, Renville County Jail, Sherburne County Jail and Stearns County Jail) formed the Minnesota Model Jail Practices Learning Community.

The project aims to support parent-child relationships, by facilitating more video visits, as well has having hundreds of parents complete parenting education programs in and outside of jail.





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