SOURCE: Get On The Bus

Get On The Bus

May 03, 2010 12:00 ET

Hundreds of Children Visit Incarcerated Mothers for Mother's Day at Eleventh Annual 'Get On The Bus' Event

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - May 3, 2010) -  Center for Restorative Justice Works and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are again bringing together hundreds of children to visit their incarcerated mothers to celebrate Mother's Day during this 11th Annual Get On The Bus event.

Thirty buses and three airplanes filled with more than 700 children and their caregivers will be traveling from all major cities throughout the state of California early on Friday, May 7, 2010 to one of three female institutions: California Institution for Women in Corona and Central California Women's Facility and Valley State Prison for Women, both in Chowchilla. The buses will arrive between 8 and 10 a.m. to accommodate the greatest number of visitors in visiting rooms with limited space.

"At Get On The Bus, we feel that children have a right to see, touch and talk with their parents no matter where they are," said Get On The Bus Director Maria Palmer. "There is promising research showing that children who visit their incarcerated parents are better socially and emotionally adjusted and they tend to break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration."

Approximately 200,000 children in California have an incarcerated parent and live with relatives or in foster care, according to CDCR. Approximately 75 percent of incarcerated females are mothers.

"Seldom do people ask, 'What about the children?'" said Get On The Bus Executive Director, Sister Suzanne Jabro. "These are the hidden victims of crime and punishment. They did nothing wrong. They just want to be held and loved by their mother and they need to know that she is safe."

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 mothers, each child will receive a teddy bear with a letter from his or her mother as well as post-event counseling. The program is funded by donations from churches, schools, family foundations, grants and other organizations.

The media is invited to ride local buses and/or attend the prison events in Corona and Chowchilla. Gate clearance is required. 

For CIW: Contact Lt. Felix Figueroa at (909) 597-1771 x 4921.
For CCWF: Contact Lt. William Hickman at (559) 665-5531 x 5550. 
For VSPW: Contact Lt. Michael Burns at (559) 665-6100 x 5509.

To view highlights of last year's event, visit http://www.youtube.com/CAcorrections#p/c/568AE1C483A924DF/37/O3p7xiQAbTM 

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Maria Palmer
    Get On The Bus
    Director
    (818) 980-7714 ext. 12