HOUSTON (Covering Katy News) – The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Children’s Hospital have partnered to win a grant from the National Institute of Corrections to make the Harris County Jail more child-friendly.
Experts are visiting the jail this week to make suggestions in areas that include enhancing the inmate visitation experience for children and training jail staff on how to positively interact with visiting children.
Over the past year, the Sheriff’s Office conducted a needs assessment on children with incarcerated parents with Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical Branch. The assessment was funded by the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute.
Some key findings of the needs assessment include:
*Seven percent of all Harris County children have a parent who spends time in the county jail each year.
*Half of Harris County Jail inmates have at least one child under the age of 18.
*Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of incarcerated parents provided all or most of the financial support for their children before being jailed.