President Bush’s Initiative for Children of Prisoners- an FCN source file

George W. Bush was the first U.S. President to propose services specifically for children of prisoners. Family and Corrections Network provides this web page to inform practitioners and other interested parties of the progress and evolution of this initiative. The material is listed by date, with the most recent material at the top of the list. Full text of the source can be found at the White House’s Online Briefing Room (

January 17, 2002 – White House Press Release: New Initiative Directed at Children of Prisoners: Establishes a Mentoring Children of Prisoners program to provide mentoring through networks of community organizations, including religious organizations. $25 million for 2003.

March 31, 2001 – Radio Address of the President to the Nation:

“The values of our children must be a priority of our nation. So my budget invests in abstinence education and drug treatment. We create a new $67 million program that will make grants to faith-based and community organizations who mentor the children of parents in prison.”

January 2001 – Rallying the Armies of Compassion
A Faith-Based Initiative by President Bush, January, 2001

“Federal competitive grants will be provided for services reaching the children of prisoners. On any given day, America is home to 1.5 million children of prisoners. The low-income children of prisoners suffer disproportionate rates of many severe social problems. People of faith and others can mentor and reach out to these children, and help to heal broken families once prisoners are released.”

January 30, 2001 – Remarks by the President in Submission of Faith-Based Services Proposal, The Fishing School, Washington. D.C.

“I propose to encourage mentoring programs for children of prisoners. As well as programs that, when possible, help to mend broken families. “

January 30, 2001 – Steve Goldsmith at White House press briefing on The Faith-Based Initiative by Mayor Steve Goldsmith, Reverend Mark Scott, and a White House Official.

“…in establishing the White House Office of Faith and Community Initiatives, the President is very clearly saying that we have a responsibility to help children with after-school care, we have a responsibility to help children of prisoners, we have a responsibility to help those who are uninsured. But we’re going to do that through a decentralization and development, and allowing faith and community groups to be the front doors of either providing these services are accessing these services. “

January 29, 2001 – Executive Order: Establishment Of White House Office Of Faith-Based And Community Initiatives

“Faith-based and other community organizations are indispensable in meeting the needs of poor Americans and distressed neighborhoods. Government cannot be replaced by such organizations, but it can and should welcome them as partners. The paramount goal is compassionate results, and private and charitable community groups, including religious ones, should have the fullest opportunity permitted by law to compete on a level playing field, so long as they achieve valid public purposes, such as curbing crime, conquering addiction, strengthening families and neighborhoods, and overcoming poverty. This delivery of social services must be results oriented and should value the bedrock principles of pluralism, nondiscrimination, evenhandedness, and neutrality.”

July 10, 2000 – Governor George W. Bush At The NAACP Annual Convention, Baltimore, Maryland

“I will lift the regulations that hamper private and faith-based programs. I will involve them in after-school programs, maternity group homes, drug treatment, prison ministries. I have laid out specific incentives to encourage an outpouring of giving in America.

Here’s an example. More than a million children have one or both parents in prison. These are forgotten children – almost six times more likely to go to prison themselves. And they should not be punished for the sins of their fathers. We should give grants to ministries and mentoring programs that offer support to these children.

Let us bring help and hope to these other innocent victims of crime.”