Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

                                               NEWS RELEASE                            









MEDIA ADVISORY                                                                           MARCH 29, 2004

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 


Fathers Matter Conference will Address the

Challenges of Life After Incarceration


(Columbus) – The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), along with the Center for Families and Children (CFC), are hosting a three-day conference entitled Fathers Matter:  Prisoners as Parents and the Challenge of Reentry, from March 31, 2004 – April 2, 2004.  The conference will be held at the Westin Great Southern Hotel in Columbus.  


This collaboration between the state prison system and CFC, one of Ohio’s largest non-profit human services agencies, has resulted in three days of workshops, focus groups and panel discussions centering around the impact of incarceration on the father and his role within the dynamics of the family.  With an expected 200 participants, the theme of the conference will center on how to assist in the reunification and the reestablishment of positive relationships between incarcerated parents and their families.


“The role of the family in an offender’s successful reentry back to the community is invaluable,” explained DRC Director Reginald A. Wilkinson.  “By ensuring that family issues are addressed from a system-wide approach, we are empowering the offenders to not only become productive members of society, but also productive members of their individual families.”  The Fathers Matter conference will allow community and corrections professionals to explore the different options available to assist fathers in the reentry process after a period of incarceration. 


In 1996, CFC founded the Fathers and Families Together (FAFT) program that assists fathers in improving their relationships and increasing their involvement in the lives of their children.  Since its inception, FAFT has served over 1,000 fathers through its structured fathering curriculum and family-centered community activities.  CFC’s FAFT program is designed to equip men with the tools necessary to strengthen themselves, their families and the community.  “Fathers reentering the community from prison face a unique set of barriers,” said CFC President and CEO Lee Fisher.  “This conference will encourage dialogue on how these barriers can be addressed.”

For more information, please contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150 or CFC’s Brittany O’Connor at (216) 432-7200 x. 332.

Directions to the site:


From Cleveland/ Northern Ohio – Take I-71 South to 1-670 West.  Take the Third Street exit and go approximately 11 blocks to Mound Street and turn right.   Go one block to High Street and turn right.   The Westin is on the corner of High and Mound Streets.


From Cincinnati area – Take I-71 North.  Just before reaching the downtown area, exit onto I-70 east.  Take the first exist which is the Front/High Street exit.  Go straight to High Street and turn left.  After approximately 3 blocks you will see the Westin on your right.