A new partnership between the Oklahoma County Detention Center and Prison Fellowship is working to make Mother’s Day special for those behind bars.
“This is such a hard season for the Mother’s Day to be incarcerated and the returning citizens, just you know, it’s a special touch for them for their children,” Western Oklahoma Prison Fellowship field director Teresa Stanfield said.
Inmates at the Oklahoma County Detention Center won't be home for Mother's Day, but they do have a special message to send to their families.
The laughs, warm hugs and family road trips are just a few things the inmates at the Oklahoma County Detention Center said they miss the most.
“I missed Christmas, I missed Valentine's Day, now Mother's Day, so I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I've missed every major holiday with them,’ and I was really depressed,” Oklahoma Co. Detention Center inmate Stephanie Reddout said.
The inmates said spending Mother’s Day behind bars is upsetting.
“I want to be at home with them, but right now, I need to do this because of my choices that I made,” Oklahoma Co. Detention Center inmate Lindsey Steele said. “Hopefully, they want follow in my footsteps and they learn from me.”
“I can hardly get my kids to answer my phone calls because they’re so upset that I’m in here in the first place,” Reddout said.
A new program at the detention center called Prison Fellowship is working to brighten their day. Incarcerated mothers and juveniles were able to make personalized care packages for their families.
The packages contained hand-written letters, a bible, and a build-a-bear. When you squeeze the bear’s paw, families will hear a special message from a familiar voice.
Around 30 families will receive these care packages. The inmates said this was an opportunity to remind their families time will never change how much they love them.
“It's something I want her to sleep with when she's my age,” Reddout said. “And then their children, when I have grandkids, this is what grandma sounded like at this age. That's how the Lord was working in our life then and this is where the Lord is working in my life now.”
As COVID-19 restrictions loosen, the Oklahoma County Detention Center plans to offer more programs like this for inmates.