It was a day of joy and laughter when kids and their incarcerated mothers reunited again at the Utah State Prison’s Timpanogos facility.
The family reunion was tagged Kids Day. It is a day dedicated to visiting children and incarcerated mothers. Both kids and mother get to spend three hours together playing and getting to bond all over again behind prison walls.
Many mothers serving time in prison have not seen their children in years. Others have tracked their children’s growth and development with occasional photos.
Many of these female prison inmates long to know how their kids fare without them outside there in the world.
And then they have reasons to worry; incarceration of mothers expose young kids to untold hardships and serious environmental influences.
Kids Day Brought Mothers and Children Together For Meals, Games and Crafts
Incarcerated mothers and their visiting children were able to share a meal, make crafts, play games and just look into one anothers eyes during the past Kids Day. It was not only a Kids Day. It was also appropriately a Incarcerated Mothers Day.
Separated mothers and kids hugged and hugged and relieved personal experiences of what life had thrown their way. Mothers connected again with their children and kids asked mothers why they had been away for so long.
This is the fourth time Utah State Prison would be putting together the program together. And it was the second time it would be for incarcerated mothers.
Almost all of the female inmates that spent time with their kids won the privilege because of good behavior and excellence in prison programs. Over 150 female inmates were part of this past program, and almost all of them are serving time for drug addiction or drug related offenses.
Mothers Display Overwhelming Emotions during Kids Day Reunion
For one of the mothers, 23-year-old Elicia Chavez, she had not seen her son, 5-year-old Damiano, for years. She had only seen occasional photos to know how Damiano was growing.
In fact, Damiano stayed with an aunt whom he considers his mom. Mother and child connected for three hours during Kids Day and Elicia was more than elated to physically be with her child.
In fact, she was afraid of first hugging him because Damiano barely knows he had another mother somewhere and barely knew her again. Chavez is serving one-to-15 years for robbery.
Dianna Robles, 32, was also full of tears when her three children visited. Demetrie is now 14, Brooklyn is 11 and Cameron is seven. According to Robles, “a lot of guilt and shame came up seeing them…they are not the same as when I first came to prison.” Robles is serving two-to-20 years for drug related knife attack on her mother. She now regrets doing drugs for 17 years and wishes she had not been so selfish and thought more of her loving three kids.