Join host Isabelle Sinclair for a Mother's Day special focused on the impact of incarceration on mothers and their families. Mothers make up approximately 84% of the incarcerated population at Coffee Creek, and the Family Preservation Project provides them with vital resources. This episode features three guests: Jessica Katz, director of the Center for Incarcerated Mothers, which hosts the Family Preservation Project (FPP); Heather Rowlett, project coordinator for FPP; Ebony Howard, formerly incarcerated mother, and also on the advisory board for the Center for Incarcerated Mothers. Together, we discuss the FPP's mission to help incarcerated mothers communicate with their families, with legal counsel, and with DHS, as well as exploring the difficulties women routinely face in the prison system.
The Family Preservation Project began in Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in 2010, with funding from DOC. They provide eight direct-service projects within Coffee Creek, primarily focused on reunifying mothers with their children in a facilitated, safe space. They host a monthly speaker series open to all in Coffee Creek, along with specialized programs, such as Between the Lines, which allows mothers to audio record themselves reading children's books, which will then be sent to their families.
In 2015, after a year in which the program was discontinued due to lack of funding, they reopened as part of a branch of the YWCA of Greater Portland. Currently, bill HB 3300 is up for vote in Oregon's legislative session, and seeks to expand the pilot program under the Center for Incarcerated Mothers at Coffee Creek.
For more information on the Family Preservation Project visit: https://www.ywcapdx.org/what-we-do/family-preservation-project/