Dr. Latoya Lane Barber, Vice President of GEO Reentry In-Prison Treatment Services, recently received recognition in Corrections Today’s January/February 2021 issue for her children’s books about the challenges of having an incarcerated parent and of family reunification.
The magazine, which is a publication of the American Correctional Association, drew attention to Dr. Lane Barber’s two newest works, Daddy’s Coming Home and Mommy’s Coming Home, which she co-authored with Dr. Bahiyyah M. Muhammad, professor of Criminology at Howard University and founding director of Policing Inside Out and founding facilitator of the College in Prison Program.
In the books, Dr. Lane Barber acknowledges that reintroduction of a parent into the family unit following incarceration can present as many challenges for children as the initial absence of that parent, so it is important to prepare kids for the transition. The message focuses on the importance of patience and of making the delicate adjustments essential to re-building family relationships.
Daddy’s Coming Home and Mommy’s Coming Home, both published independently in fall 2020, are written in an upbeat style and contain lively illustrations while offering useful information for both parents and children. The books also remind families that successful reunification depends on everyone communicating and working together, and that change requires time and mutual understanding.
“These books start the conversation on the parent’s return,” said Dr. Lane Barber. “Things will be different after incarceration. It is a time of new beginnings for the parent and child. We saw the need for this resource that helps family members know what to expect and establish a plan together.”
As an extra resource for families, the books’ last pages provide a physical place for parents and children to record their notes and schedules. Each book also offers examples of affirmations of love and caring and encourages families to ask questions that deepen their understanding of each other’s expectations.
Daddy’s Coming Home and Mommy’s Coming Home are Dr. Lane Barber’s second books, and she is planning to write a third. Both are available through Amazon.com.