The Education Based Incarceration Bureau (EBI) hosted the first “Mother’s Day” event at Pitchess Detention Center (PDC) on Friday, July 26, 2013. In this event, nineteen children were reunited with their mothers in the courtyard of PDC in a family oriented, picnic style atmosphere. They were able to play ball, read books, make beaded bracelets, create wooden picture frames, paint nails, eat lunch and blow bubbles. This special event is devoted to reuniting these incarcerated mothers with their children in a festive environment to allow them to work on their relationships, and placing them on a path toward reconciliation.
EBI Bureau coordinated the transport of 12 female inmates to participate in the four hour event. The 12 female inmates were part of the Maximizing Education Reaching Individual Transformation (MERIT) program, which is an extensive 12-week life skills training program that promotes personal growth, accountability and decision making.
This “Mother’s Day” celebration was a great way for the mother’s to reconnect and bond with their children. “We wanted to provide a forum for these folks, who are faced with seemingly insurmountable circumstances, to connect with the very people in their lives who can support them and give them a sense of hope. We are proud to have been able to provide this opportunity and would like to continue to expand these programs,” said EBI Bureau Captain Mike Bornman.
Volunteers from the local community along with EBI staff chaperoned the day’s events. Visits that include personal contact between parents and children are very unusual in the county jail system and only take place under controlled conditions such as this special event.
EBI Bureau is responsible for managing the 67 inmate educational and vocational programs within the seven Los Angeles County jails. There are approximately 18,000 inmates in the County jail system. Within that population more than 7,000 inmates are currently participating in educational programs.