CDCR employees may watch the above video.

Video by Rob Stewart, TV Specialist
Produced by Alexandra Powell, CDCR PIO
Office of Public and Employee Communications

Children of incarcerated parents traveled from all over California to Valley State Prison for an early Father’s Day “Get On The Bus” event. Free transportation for children and their caregivers is made possible through a partnership between the Center for Restorative Justice Works and CDCR.

The event featured bond-building activities for parents and children, including group art projects, family photos, face painting, music and sports. Each child was sent home with a special letter from his or her parent.

Get On The Bus is an annual event held at prisons throughout the state that aims to keep family connections strong for rehabilitation purposes, both during and after incarceration. Regular visits between children and their incarcerated parents are proven to lower recidivism and support family reunification.

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Courtney Cipriani

This program is called Get On The Bus.

We’ve had Get On The Bus at Valley State Prison since we were a women’s facility back in 1999.

Our ultimate goal is to bring families together.

Francisco Munoz

I try to mentally slow all this down.

These moments like this, it kind of softens the blow.

This is my first time doing this, and it means everything to me.

I would say it’s important because I don’t get to see my dad that often, and with a program like this it make it more easier to, like, see my dad.

There’s something about actually being there to see them where it’s a bit more comforting in a sense.

Francisco Ornelas

I think the most important thing that this does … if I talk to him over the phone and he’s talking about something that’s very important to him that he’s passionate about, I can hear it in his voice, but when he comes here and he talks about it, I can see it in his eyes.

I can see it in his face.

I can give him words of encouragement, but also I can embrace him, which is something that I’m never going to be able to do over the phone or through a letter.

Lupe Rivera

The value of seeing someone’s face, touching them, being able to play with their hair, being able to hold them, it’s priceless.

Ruth Manzanilla

We get to speak heart to heart, you know?

And seeing the person’s face, we kind of know where one another come from and what we struggle with.

Dacey Michelle-Rios

This program has been a huge blessing to us.

And just to be able to sit down with my daughters and hold them on the way here, it’s exciting and it’s a blessing.

It is, it’s a huge blessing.