Mother's Day inside Chowchilla Women's Prison


The anticipation is unbearable. Mothers, hundreds of them, are waiting anxiously to see their children.

Michelle Martinez hasn't seen her children since November, including her youngest son, who she gave birth to while in prison. "Ah, this one. It feels good. Last time I held him was when we slept nose to nose in a hospital bed before my mom took him."

These inmates will spend between four and six hours with their families. Organizing an event like this takes extra prison staff and dozens of volunteers.

Margo Denison said, "Whatever we did for a whole year, it makes it worth it. And to see the families together, and reunified, it's amazing."

The "Get on the Bus" event started back in 2000, and has been an annual event at both men and women's prisons ever since.

With drawing, face painting, and family pictures, some inmates say, these visits motivate them.

"I think it helps in a lot of ways because it's very lonely here."

"The time goes faster when you see the kids."

But, for their kids, it means even more.

"I missed her, you know. I haven't seen her for while."

Cassandra Maldonado said, "Well, I get really happy cause I've been looking forward to it for like the past few years. It's like, like the high light of my year, practically."

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