Policy and System Changes

UW-Madison Division of Extension educators are uniquely positioned in Wisconsin counties to partner with community leaders to establish policy and system changes that create and foster literacy-focused interactions between children and their justice-involved parents or caregivers. Educators have a longstanding history of trust, respect, and capacity-building with community partners to address local issues and bring research information to review systems, policies, and procedures, by which to guide changes.

These system changes consider:

  • child-centered visits and family/child well-being and successful reentry/reunification
  • creating two tiers of effort including intervention and prevention by reducing stress and trauma and changing cycles of adversity
  • an increased awareness of families and children

Examples of policy and system changes that have occurred over the past two years include…

  • recognition of family impact by the justice system
  • promoting child-centered visits
  • staffing changes that have been made in visitation areas
  • opening other opportunities for educational programming
  • implementing adult literacy programs within the jail setting
  • coordinating with Department of Human Services and other justice system partners
  • addressing successful reentry and family reunification