Separation between parent and child is always difficult but no more so than when the parent is in jail. Visits can be awkward, phone calls are short and costly to the family and letter writing is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Easing some of the pain of separation is the reason behind Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s introduction of a new literacy program called “A.B.C. -Arpaio’s Book Club.”
The program consists of inmates recording a book of their choice on a DVD which is then edited and mailed to the home of the inmate’s child. The inmate could be the father or mother or aunt or grandmother – whoever acts as a primary or secondary caregiver to a child.
Books for the program, Arpaio says, have all been donated from local sources including libraries, book vendors as well as from individuals.
The only costs associated with the program are minimal – the DVDs themselves and postage. The filming and editing are done by detention officers from the Inmate Programs division, a part of the office largely funded by canteen sales, vending machines sales and phone calls made to family and friends by inmates.
Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office