NEWS:Kids spend time with fathers through Day with Dad program

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LOST GAP, Miss. (WTOK) – For most correctional facilities, it is not typical for the inmates to be allowed to see their families. But at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, that is not the case.

Sunday was the third Day with Dad program at the EMCF where inmates had the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.

“It’s very important when these men are released from the facility to have that bond with their children, because that gives them encouragement to stay clean and to not come back here. We want to give them that opportunity to get to know their children more than just by sitting at a table. To know them on a more intimate level. This gives them to support they need when they leave the facility,” says Program Director Becky Turcotte.

In order to participate in this program, inmates had to meet a few qualifications.

“These guys are what we call RVR free for six months to a year. They have not caused any problems, have been attending programs constantly and have shown that they should be rewarded in the way they act. This is one of the things we do to try and help that,” Deputy Warden of Programs, Ray Rice.

“It’s emotional, I guess, seeing all the different fathers interact with their children. The children are so glad to be here with them, with their dads, playing. They even have the dads involved. I think it’s a really good thing,” says Sharon Pouge, whose son is an inmate at the facility.

Families also think having days like this allows the dads to be able to get to know their child and see how much they have grown.

“It makes the dads feel wonderful. It helps with the gap. He’s still a part of their life. He gets to see them actually interact with others and play games. It’s a good thing,” says Pouge.

The East Mississippi Correctional Facility is putting on another Day with Dad event during December called Christmas with Dad.