Incarcerated Parents

Motivating students in positive ways can be a challenge in correctional settings. No one understands these challenges more than Motheread, Inc.

For over twenty years, we have been providing literacy development classes to inmate students. As a result, we have developed a groundbreaking strength-based curriculum and a training institute for adult literacy instruction. Using adult narratives and children’s literature, the curriculum teaches reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. All 29 lessons are correlated with CASAS competencies and provide a framework that maximizes results. Adults also learn how to strengthen parenting behaviors and improve family communication from a distance. In the training, participants learn to teach academic skills and real-life applications in a nontraditional learning environment.

As cited in the peer-reviewed Journal of Family Violence (Vol. 10, No. 4, 1995) and in Corrections Today (1995), the Motheread program was found to be highly successful with inmate parents.

  • The average CASAS increase for students in these classes is 1.47 grade level equivalent.
  • The classes have a retention rate of at least 70%.

In order to provide classes, individuals must attend the 20-hour Motheread/Fatheread Institute which gives staff the tools and materials needed to enhance inmates’ literacy and parenting skills. Participants completing institute requirements will be awarded 2.0 CEUs from North Carolina State University.

Training participants will 

  • Learn about the adult education, best practice research for the curriculum and instructional strategies
  • Experience the curriculum as both learners and instructors
  • Examine the use of formal and informal assessment tools to maximize instruction and student success
  • Learn how to contextualize instruction




Click here to download the Incarcerated Parents (Working with Incarcerated Parents) PDF file.