JACKSON – Several incarcerated mothers and grandmothers at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County will spend the last Saturday of the year in a special way – visiting with their children.
The facility is holding its second Mom’s Day for three hours.
About 50 offenders and 100 children are expected to attend the event from 1-4 p.m. The numbers are comparable to the last event held on Sept. 30.
Only inmates incarcerated for a year with children up to 18 years of age and with no infractions can participate. Mothers who were involved in the first event and who remained trouble free also can take part in Saturday’s activities.
"This new program is another example of this administration’s focus on rehabilitation," Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. "It is important for mothers to maintain a physical connection with their children so that when they are released, the foundation for support is already there. I also appreciate staff for finding ways to provide incentives for inmates who follow the rules."
The program is being extended to grandmothers because "we have so many offenders serving so many years that they are grandmothers now," said Warden Dean Epps, whose area is hosting the program.
Some mothers and grandmothers will see their children or grandchildren for the first time in months, if not years.
Amaryhana Crain and her 8-year-old daughter had an emotional reunion the first Mom’s Day. Crain, who is in prison for embezzlement and having a controlled substance within a facility, had not seen her daughter since 2015.
"When she first came in, she hugged me," Crain said. "She cried. It was a good experience."
Crain’s mother brought her daughter for the special visit. They watched her sing.
"She has grown up a lot," Crain noted, as she watched her daughter from across the room. "She’s gotten taller."
CMCF Superintendent Ron King said there are plans to expand the program in 2018. "The new program presents a unique opportunity for our female offenders to spend quality time with their children," King said. "The setting is a much more relaxed environment and allows interaction outside of the standard more structured visitation sessions. We hope that this will continue and even strengthen the relationship between the offenders and their children."