(BOP) - On December 7, 2013, children of all ages, infant to adult, from all over California arrived by bus at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), Dublin, to visit their incarcerated mothers. This trip launched the "Get on the Bus" program with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Participating in this inaugural event were 112 children, 40 inmates, and 42 caretakers and volunteers, with many of the children seeing their mothers for the first time in several years. This special event was a result of FCI Dublinís partnership with "Get on the Bus," a network of 1,000 volunteers and 250 faith groups dedicated to arranging visits between children and their incarcerated parents.
Three chartered buses loaded with excited passengers journeyed from San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, and Bakersfield to FCI Dublin. "Get on the Bus" is a program of The Center for Restorative Justice Works, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to families seeking to visit inmates. Specifically, the Center assists with the visitor approval process, provides transportation to the prison including a meal along the way, has trained volunteers to accompany the children, and makes available post-visit counseling and dinner during the return trip home.
The program strives to create an atmosphere that fosters a positive family interaction and allows children and parents the ability to reconnect after a long separation. By working with the "Get on The Bus" program, the Bureau of Prisons is able to further strengthen the family ties between inmates and their children, and facilitate successful reentry to the community.