In Arms Reach

Award Recipients - 2003

Terrence W. Stevens, Founder

In Arms Reach, Inc. (IAR) serves the needs of children whose parents are or were incarcerated.  “The goal is to empower young people, often traumatized and stigmatized by parental incarceration, to lead more productive, crime-free lives and encourage stronger supportive bonds between generations.” IAR provides children with recreational activities, academic assistance and visits to parents in prison.  

In January 2001, Terrance Stevens received clemency after serving nine years under the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Immediately upon his release, he began creating IAR emphasizing that parental incarceration is linked to poor academic achievement, truancy, drug and alcohol use, early pregnancy, gang activity and involvement with the juvenile and adult criminal justice system.  He contacted prisoners directly to obtain parental permission for participation of their children in the program.  IAR’s primary goal is to build positive self-esteem and provide a nurturing environment that encourages family bonding and creative learning.  

IAR is an after-school program for children ages 9-15.  It provides recreational activities and assistance with homework as well as letter writing and visits to parents in upstate facilities on weekends and holidays.  IAR obtains parental consent to receive each student’s school record in order to evaluate academic strengths and weaknesses and develop an academic plan.  The goal is to prepare each child for college.  In addition, a medical consultant assesses each child’s health.

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