SOURCE: Get On The Bus

Get On The Bus

April 29, 2009 09:15 ET

Hundreds of Children Visit Moms in Prison for 10th Annual Mother's Day 'Get On The Bus'

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - April 29, 2009) - Get On The Bus, a program of the Center for Restorative Justice Works, joins California volunteers and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to Unite Children with their Mothers and Fathers in Prison for Mother's/Father's Day. The annual Get On The Bus Program, founded ten years ago, will once again make this memorable day possible.

On Friday, May 8, 32 buses filled with more than 700 children and their caregivers will travel from major cities across California to one of three female institutions: California Institution for Women in Corona, Central California Women's Facility and Valley State Prison for Women, both in Chowchilla.

"Our program is unique because it reunites families that otherwise would not be able to be together due to cost and distance," said Get On The Bus Director Maria Palmer. "Get On The Bus plants the seeds for child/mother relationships which is crucial for both parties when the women come out of prison."

Approximately 200-thousand children in California have an incarcerated parent and live with relatives or in foster care. Approximately seventy-five percent of female inmates are mothers.

"Children want to see and hug their mothers, whether they are in prison or not," said Get On The Bus Executive Director and Founder, Sister Suzanne Jabro. "These children pay the high price of separation from their mothers and this is a monumental effort by the community and state to strengthen those family bonds."

The buses will depart early on Friday, May 8 from different locations throughout the state and will travel for hours to the different prisons. The buses will arrive between 8 and 10 a.m. to accommodate the greatest number of visitors in visiting rooms with limited space.

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. On the bus trip home following the visit with the mothers, each child receives 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.

Contact Information

    Michele Kane
    (916) 445-4950
    Maria Palmer
    (818) 980-7714