a strong family connection maximizes a child’s stability and a woman’s chances
of success upon reentry, Hour Children’s Center works to nurture happy, healthy,
and caring relationships between incarcerated mothers and their children
through an array of free programs and services.
Children of the
incarcerated are innocent of any crime, yet they suffer the consequences of
having their mothers taken from them. For more than thirty
years, Hour Children’s Center has been a leading provider of innovative
parenting programs at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a maximum-security
prison for women located in northern Westchester County. Led by the nonprofit
Hour Children, we offer the following programs:
- Free bus
and van transportation to/from all parts of NY State (and surrounding areas) provides
regular and affordable opportunities for children and families to visit with
incarcerated loved ones.
services offer support and counseling for incarcerated mothers, as well as
provide regular telephone contact with their children, guardians, schools, and other
education classes provide support and skills to help mothers address the unique
challenges of parenting from prison.
Teen/Pre-Teen Program works closely with adolescent children, their guardians,
and their incarcerated mothers to provide special support during the
challenging teen/pre-teen years. The program provides regular visitation, case
management, parenting education, outside enrichment, and peer support for both
the mothers and their children to help them navigate the emotional, academic,
and social challenges of adolescence, made more difficult by having a
parent in prison.
celebrations during visits, complete with a cake, donated gifts, and
photographs, help children mark these important milestones with their mothers.
unique opportunity for children ages 5-18 to visit with their incarcerated
mothers for an extended period during the summer. Using a day-camp model, the
program features entertainment, arts-and-crafts, and games for mothers and
their children. Evenings and overnights are spent with local host families who
open their hearts and homes to the children.
- Women select
gifts, which are donated from the community, to present to their children at
visits during the holidays.
create hand-made greeting cards to send to their children to honor birthdays,
celebrate holidays, or simply to express their love.
- From a wide
selection of donated books, women record themselves reading aloud to their children.
The books and recording are mailed to the child. In addition to promoting
literacy, the program allows children to play their mother’s voice whenever
they may feel the pain and loneliness of the separation.