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Tennessee Department of Corrections gave offenders the chance to get quality time with their families

The event Ties with Dad was created specifically residents who were father figures within their household prior to incarceration.
Credit: Tennessee Department of Corrections

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One important thing to reducing a convicted felon relapsing is reconnecting them with their families. The Mark Luttrell Transition Center (MLTC) aimed to do just that by hosting a special family reunification event called Ties with Dad.

At the event sponsored by MLTC Chaplain Dr. William Smith III, relatives of the offenders were given the chance to spend time with their loved one by enjoying dinner, taking pictures, and discussing important life lessons. Some even got the opportunity to teach their male children or relatives simple things like tying a tie. MLTC Superintendent, Taurean James, said the event was created specifically for residents who were father figures within their household prior to incarceration. 

“Family reunification is an essential part of the transition center’s mission. Significant research has shown that reuniting families is a fundamental component of an offender’s successful reintegration into society," said James, "Research has shown that separating children from their families is traumatic and has long-lasting effects on their mental, emotional, and physical health. Therefore, reunifying the family unit is not only beneficial for returning inmates, but also provides a long-term solution for a child who has an incarcerated parent by helping them build a support network.”

During the event, each resident was provided with a new tie to present to their child; donated by members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and the Memphis Ministerial Alliance.