The Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center in Illinois recently had a unique day in history. Its inmates were given opportunities to bond with their kids behind bars through a program called A Day with Dads.
This was the first that the prison inmates in Illinois experienced such colorful prison visits.
Through the donations from the members of the community, the inmates received paints. They were also given some supplies to enable them make birdhouses, carnivals games and a putt-putt golf course.
Incarcerated Fathers Arrange Program To Meet Their Prison Kids
The plans for the day had been happening for over the last 2-years, Anthony Williams who is the facility’s warden says. Adding that even some of the inmates took part in planning the day.
Inmate Ivan Carmona
Ivan Carmona, a Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center inmate, stated that he had not seen his 9-year-old daughter ever since 2011:
I am profoundly overwhelmed, and I really believe it… But I am glad that this day came.
Carmona explained that before this program was established, families were only allowed to talk to each other while seated at the table. Now, he has got the privilege to physically play with the daughters.
The A Day with Dads program aims to give the inmates the chance to bond with their kids behind bars for a day.
Inmate Anthony Williams
Being a dad himself, Anthony Williams feels even more special for having helped organized the A Day with Dad program. He loves that it allows these Illinois prison inmates to bond with their kids behind bars:
My daughter is 21-years-old and being her father is everything. I really want her to experience this incredible feeling too.
Inmate Sammy Stewart
Sammy Stewart is another Illinois prisoner who feels he gained from the A Day with Dads program.
I am homesick. I usually miss my little boy even more. And being able to see him play with that stuff that I helped in building them; meant the world to me.
‘A Day With Dad’ Allows Inmates to Bond with Their Kids Behind Bars
Williams hopes to make the A Day with Dads program an annual event. This will bring enjoyment for even more imprisoned dads and their prison kids.
The children had father-son walks and daddy-daughter dances. They were also given special gifts from their imprisoned daddies.
While preparing for the prison visit day, the men joined their efforts together and purchased school supplies. The sole purpose was to ensure that their kids would be well prepared for their first days of school. Williams notes:
Such family support is critical to their (inmates) successes when they complete their sentences. It also helps children to experience what it’s like to have a father around, even if they made mistakes.
Video: Correctional Facility Helping Inmates Bond with Their Kids Behind Bars
The video below was posted to Local 8 Now. It shows the love during bonding time between prison kids and their dads at the Kewanee Facility.
They participated in A Day with Dads program at the Illinois prison. This was the first time such a prison visit took place, allowing the prison fathers to bond with their kids behind bars.