March 14, 2014
A $600,000 federal grant is aimed at keeping children with parents in prison out of trouble.
The Council of Southern Mountains already operates a mentoring program for children with incarcerated parents in McDowell, Wyoming and Raleigh counties.
The grant will allow that program to expand to five more counties: Logan, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe and Summers.
Executive Director Randal Johnson said the program now serves about 200 children, but that he hopes to expand it to include as many as 5,400.
Johnson said children with incarcerated parents are far more likely to end up in prison themselves than other children.
The program pairs adult mentors with children ages four through 18 who have at least one parent in state or federal custody.