Spending Mother's Day in Prison

Chowchilla, CA It's part of a program that allows the children of female inmates to visit their moms for mother's day.

Breanna Lopez, Inmate's Daughter: "I've been actually able to see my mom and tell her how much I love her and how much I miss her."

Breanna Lopez lives in Hanford and hasn't been able to visit her mother during the eight months she's spent here at the Central California Women's Facility. For some of these children, it's been as long as seven years.

Irene Lopez, Inmate: "This program is amazing because a lot of us don't get to see our kids. The only time we get to is when we get sponsored events like this, so it means everything in the world."

These emotional reunions were made possible through the ninth annual "get on the bus" program. The event started with one bus and just 17 children, but this year 35 buses and more than 650 kids traveled from across the state to all four women's prisons.

Sister Suzanne Jabro, Center For Restorative Justice "It must be touching an incredible need or this would not be growing at this rate."

Sister Suzanne Jabro says the program not only benefits children who need to see their mothers, but also the women who need a reason to turn their lives around.

Irene Lopez: "It's really hard because I know that uh, the things I've done have kept me from her. And I know now what I have to do to make it better and to not come back here."

Breanna says she might not see her mom again until she's released in January, but she's thankful she could give her mom a card and a hug for mother's day.

Breanna: "She's just a cool mom and some people don't even know how much they mean to them until they lose them."

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.