Recently, the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce made a contribution to Extended Family on behalf of Jill Johnston, this year’s Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce Woman in Leadership recipient. Extended Family is one of the many community services Jill is passionate about and volunteers with regularly. We were honored to meet with Extended Family’s Executive Director, Laure E. Clemons and learn more about her program.


Families often struggle to adjust when a member is incarcerated. Clemons was devastated when her husband was sent to prison, and she searched far and wide for solutions. “I looked everywhere for someone to teach me how to navigate the prison experience,” she said. “I asked, ‘what’s out there for families of prisoners?’ And I kept getting that one-word answer: nothing. So, I started something. I started Extended Family.”


Extended Family is a 501(c)3 non-profit support system for families of prisoners. The program was started in 2003 by Clemons to serve as a solution-based resource for families seeking to get through the prison experience successfully.


Extended Family for Kids (EFK) is a program developed specifically for children. The program consists of nine 45-minute sessions. Lessons focus on subjects such as building self-esteem and communication skills, decreasing stress, addressing anger issues, and increasing a student’s ability to make good choices.


“The program focuses on the child, not the incarcerated, and that is why it’s successful,” Clemons said.


The EFK curriculum guide is now being used in 18 states, and its reach continues to grow.


“We can always use volunteers,” Clemons said. 

If you are interested in volunteering, please call: (256) 927-7997


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