Ten men will graduate from a D.C. Superior Court program that aims to help fathers who have been in prison reconnect with their children and meet child-support obligations.
Fathering Court, a voluntary program, offers job training and placement services, peer support, counseling, parenting classes and other services.
The program's fourth class will graduate Friday. Superior Court Chief Judge Lee Satterfield, Family Court Judge Zoe Bush, and Judge Milton Lee, who oversees Fathering Court, will preside over the ceremony.
Upon release, ex-convicts can face huge child support debts, which often lead them right back to prison. As the program's first class prepared to graduate in 2009, Lee called the program a pragmatic approach to keep dads from heading back to jail. And while the program's focus is on the financial payments, Willie Ellis -- a graduate of the program -- said that reconnecting with his kids was its own reward.