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Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, that
sings the song without the words
and never stops at all."
- Emily Dickinson
Friends Outside offers a wide array of programs and services to fulfill its mission. The work of our organization is based upon fundamental beliefs that transcend words; it is an expression by actions. Our numerous years of working compassionately and diligently to provide programs and services to families and children impacted by incarceration and our work in prisons and jails are a testament to our commitment. Our successes reflect the evidence based practices we utilize.
Friends Outside is a national leader in advocating for the
rights of children of incarcerated parents. We want to help
children by reducing the stigma, shame, and trauma which is
frequently the result of a parent’s incarceration. The
Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents was
created by Gretchen Newby, our Executive Director, based on the
cumulative experience of Friends Outside volunteers and staff who
work with families and children of incarcerated parents.
The Bill of Rights has received international attention as the most substantial piece of work to impact children touched by incarceration and promoted change in local, state, national, and international legislature.
Implemented at the Visitor Centers,
Write to Me encourages
children to write letters to their incarcerated parent in an effort
to support ongoing parent-child contact and help to relieve the
child’s sense of isolation. Age-appropriate writing kits are
provided to the child and an experienced Friends Outside caregiver
guides them through the letter writing process. The letters may be
written at the