Sesame Street softens visits of children to parents in prison

Published: Friday, October 4, 2013 at 08:30 PM.

The Florida Department of Corrections teamed up with Sesame Street in a project aimed to help children cope and feel comfortable while visiting parents in prison, according to the FDOC.

Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in East Milton joined in the event, titled Sesame Street Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration.

The correctional facility sourced inmate talent to create life-size cutouts of the Sesame Street characters. During regular visitation, inmates meeting with their families were allowed to take photographs with the props and have a keepsake for $1 a photograph.

Warden Richard Comerford said the mission of the facility is focused on public safety.

"Eventually, these offenders will be released to society," Comerford said. "With reunification of the family, we can focus and help inmates with preparation for re-entry into society and help prepare them with more opportunities to become successful."

Assistant Warden Michael Booker said visitation is the best tool in inmate management and lowers aggression in the general population.

"Seeing family and feeling like dad again gives incentive for these inmates," he said. "For many it's their connection to the outside world."

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