SOURCE: Get On The Bus

Get On The Bus

May 23, 2013 16:48 ET

14th Annual 'Get On The Bus' Event: Reuniting Children With Their Mothers and Fathers in Prison

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - May 23, 2013) - Center for Restorative Justice Works and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) are again bringing hundreds of children to visit their fathers in prison for Father's Day during the 14th Annual Get On The Bus event.

Twenty one buses filled with hundreds of children and their caregivers will be traveling from San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Central Valley, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco and Santa Rosa, throughout the state on Saturday, June 1st, Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 15th to visit four men's institutions; California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo (June 1), San Quentin State Prison (June 7th) and both Correctional Training Facility and Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad (June 15th). Buses arrive as early as 7:45 a.m. to accommodate the maximum number of visitors at these institutions.

"Last year, Get On The Bus, united over 1,000 children with their mother or father at 10 prisons. This year we've added an additional prison to our program," said Get On The Bus Program Director Hilary Carson.

Approximately 200,000 children in California have an incarcerated parent and live with relatives or in foster care, according to the CDCR.

Executive Director Kathy Culpepper said, "Distance is the number one reason these children have been unable to see their parents. Regular visitation helps to decrease the negative impacts of parental incarceration on the children. These kids need to know they have not been abandoned."

For many of these children, this is the only time during the year that they will see their father.

Get On The Bus provides free transportation for children and their caregivers, travel bags for the children, comfort care bags for the caregivers, a photograph of each child with his or her mother, and meals for the day. Children will also be wearing Get On The Bus t-shirts with the names of donors and supporters. The meals include breakfast, snacks on the bus, lunch at the prison and dinner on the way home. On the bus trip home following the visit with the fathers, each child will receive a teddy bear with a letter from his or her father.

Get On The Bus was founded by Sister Suzanne Jabro 13 years ago. The program is funded by donations from churches, schools, family foundations, grants and other organizations.

Staying connected to their children is just as important for incarcerated mothers and fathers as it is for the kids. Research indicates it's the greatest indicator for a successful re-entry upon release.

The media is invited to ride local buses and/or attend the prison events in San Luis Obispo, San Francisco and Soledad. Gate clearance is required.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kathy Culpepper
    Executive Director
    Center for Restorative Justice Works (Get On The Bus program)
    (818) 980-7714, ext. 13

    For CMC:
    Lt. Robert Furster
    (805) 547-7948

    For SQ:
    Lt. Sam Robinson
    (415) 455-5008

    For CTF:
    Lt. Roland Ramon
    (831) 678-5952

    For SVSP:
    Lt. Michael Nilsson
    (831) 678-5500 x 5554