(WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections on Monday introduced a program to bring virtual reality technology to incarcerated parents and their children.

According to DOC, the program is part of the InsideOut Dads and Parenting Inside Out program. The VR element “leverages technology and community partnerships to promote healthy relationships and engagement between incarcerated parents and their children.”

Participants will be able to learn and practice healthy parenting skills in a 360-degree environment with a guided lesson plan.

The InsideOut Dads program is available at each of the DOC’s male facilities. The VR component has been introduced at SCI Phoenix, SCI Fayette, and SCI Frackville. VR is also available at SCI Muncy, a female facility, building on a similar Parenting Inside Out program.

Incarcerated parents must be housed in the general population, be within three years of their minimum date, and not be convicted of crimes involving children to be eligible to participate in the VR experiences.

Amachi Pittsburgh and Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) in Philadelphia will facilitate virtual reality visits for participating children and offer support services to participating families.

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University will be evaluators for the pilot program.

Complete funding for the VR initiative comes from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Programs.