JACKSON – More than 300 incarcerated mothers and fathers at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility will get a special visit with their children for three hours Saturday afternoon.
“A Day with Dad” and “Mom and Me Day” is the second consecutive year the Mississippi Department of Corrections has offered the special visitation the last weekend of the year.
The event allows the incarcerated men and women to interact in a way that is not typical in a prison setting. Only those without a rule infraction, such as fighting or having contraband, are eligible to participate.
There will be 254 women, up from 240 during a similar event in September, and 60 men participating in the activities from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to games, story time, crafts and a Christmas movie also are planned.
The special visitation program is used not only as an incentive for good behavior but also as a means to strengthen family connections.
“Family connections are very important in a successful re-entry,” Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. “Re-entry does not start once you are released from prison; it starts once you enter the doors. Therefore, my administration is focused on doing all it can to ensure that individuals do not return to prison. This event helps foster that commitment.”
CMCF Superintendent Ron King said, “Hopefully by strengthening this relationship, it will continue once the incarcerated person is released and/or continue to improve if the person is not going home in the immediate near future.”
King makes a point of attending every event. Staff organizers are Deputy Warden Sheila Parks and Recreation Department Director Richard Caston. Parks and Caston said the event boosts morale and is something the incarcerated men and women look forward to having.