The international Coalition for Children with Incarcerated Parents – INCCIP held its first international conference March 20-23-2017 in Rotorua New Zealand. The conference which was a great success had Delegates attending from 15 Countries and 5 continents. (Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America,
12 year-old Madison Strempek, a published author who wrote a book, “We All Make Mistakes” detailing her experience after her father was sent to prison in 2015 opened the Conference in a Key Note Speech.
Speaking from a child’s perspective Madison Strempek said that, “We should collaborate with children to be part of the conference “She suggested that at the next conference we should bring a group of children and give them their own session and that their ideas at the end of the conference can be then shared with the adults .
The Conference had many prestigious attendees as well as speakers. A lot of Ideas were shared and connections made. A great majority of the participants stated that they really appreciated the new and unique approaches that were presented.
Avon Hart-Johnson one of the speakers said that, “We should acknowledge that the uncomfortable issues are transformative, All voices and issues are worthy and we should take the discomfort we are all feeling, and let it be the common thread that weaves us together and makes us strong”
Among the Key presenters at the conference was Corin Morgan-Armstrong who works at HMP Parc Prison UK; In reaction to Corin’s presentation Blake Tijerina One of the participants Said that,” As a child that grew up visiting a parent in prison, it is good to see actual correctional officers at the conference, because as it is, they basically control the mother/father interactions with the child since they are the ones there and decide what the rules/allowances will be.
Liz Gordon INCCIP conference organizer/ Pillars Board of Governors President was given a standing ovation of thanks for coordinating the first INCCIP Inaugural Conference. Liz was the key organizer for this conference.
See here below photos of the conference and a pictorial presentation of the conference.