Devoted dads: evaluation of a parent education program for incarcerated fathers

Sharon Powell, Mikayla Smith, Aysegul Baltaci, Carolina De La Rosa Mateo, Ellie McCann, Emily Becher, Anita Harris Hering, Becky Hagen Jokela, Lori Hendrickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parent education for incarcerated parents can be an important support for families and may increase father involvement. Devoted Dads, a 12-week parenting program, was implemented in three state correctional facilities. Program topics included parent-child relationships, family dynamics, coparenting, and communication. The goal of the program was to equip incarcerated fathers with resources to positively engage with their children and coparents. Participants completed pre- and post-surveys for the program as well as evaluations for each session. Analysis results showed positive participant experience of the program as well as improvements in fathers’ reports of their own parenting experience and their relationship with co-caregivers. Pre-post changes in parenting knowledge and skills measures and prison-related stress areas were significantly different when fathers had preschool age children compared to those who only have school aged, teen, and/or adult children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-566
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Offender Rehabilitation
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge and thank the fathers that participated in our classes, for providing us feedback about the Devoted Dads program, and for letting us learn from them while we facilitated the program. We would also like to acknowledge the Minnesota Department of Corrections for allowing us to facilitate these classes within their facilities and the Extension Center for Family Development for supporting us in this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • coparenting
  • incarcerated father programs
  • incarcerated parents
  • prison


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