PRISON INITIATIVE
Psychoeducational & Psychotherapy Groups

Lifeline Children and Family Services is committed to addressing the behavioral, spiritual and emotional needs of men (e.g., fathers, sons, brothers, and husbands) incarcerated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in partnership with the Chaplaincy Department and local churches. Lifeline’s professional counseling staff facilitates psychoeducational & psychotherapy groups using an integrated theoretical approach that is evidence-based to address substance abuse and addictions, maladaptive behaviors, early childhood trauma, reactive attachment disorders and spiritual transformation. The psychoeducational & psychotherapy groups are conducted in group sessions over a 13 to 15 week period. The program has received rave reviews from men who have participated in the program.

Incarceration in the United States is one of the main forms of punishment, rehabilitation, or both for the commission of felony and other offenses. The United States has the largest prison population in the world, and the second-highest per-capita incarceration rate, behind Seychelles (which in 2014 had a total prison population of 735 out of a population of around 92,000). In 2013 in the US, there were 698 people incarcerated per 100,000 populations. This is the U.S. incarceration rate for adults or people tried as adults. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Fiscal Year 2015 Statistical Report, 148,146 people were incarcerated in state prisons and jails. Of the people incarcerated, 82,485 were incarcerated for violent offenses, 22,107 were incarcerated for property offenses, 23,577 were incarcerated for drug offenses, and another 20,000 were incarcerated for other offenses. In addition to those incarcerated there were a total of 382,714 under community supervision (e.g., Direct, Indirect, Pre-trial Supervision, and Pre-trial Diversion.) Texas has the largest prison system in the nation.

According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in US federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013 – about 0.91% of adults (1 in 110) in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,751,400 adults in 2013 (1 in 51) were on probation or on parole. In total, 6,899,000 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2013 – about 2.8% of adults (1 in 35) in the U.S. resident population. In 2014, the total number of persons in the adult correctional systems had fallen to 6,851,000 persons, approximately 52,200 fewer offenders than at the year-end of 2013 as reported by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). About 1 in 36 adults (or 2.8% of adults in the US) were under some form of correctional supervision – the lowest rate since 1996. On average the correctional population has declined by 1.0% since 2007; while this continued to stay true in 2014 the number of incarcerated adults slightly increased in 2014. In addition, there were 54,148 juveniles in juvenile detention in 2013.

Researchers have been analyzing statistics on incarceration in the United States of African-American males as to age, location, causes, and the impact on children. Approximately 12–13% of the American population is African-American, but they make up 35% of jail inmates, and 37% of prison inmates of the 2.2 million male inmates as of 2014 (U.S. Department of Justice, 2014). Census data for 2000 of the number and race of all individuals incarcerated in the United States revealed a wide racial disproportion of the incarcerated population in each state: the proportion of blacks in prison populations exceeded the proportion among state residents in twenty states.

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According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), African Americans constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated populations, and have nearly six times the incarceration rate of whites. A 2013 study confirmed that black men were much more likely to be arrested and incarcerated than white men, but also found that this disparity disappeared after accounting for self-reported violence and IQ. An August 2013, Sentencing Project report on Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System, submitted to the United Nations, found that “one of every three black American males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime”.