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Program Reunites Female Inmates with Their Children

Nearly every Saturday, 12 qualified female inmates from Century Regional Detention Facility are reunited with their children for four hours. The Adults Bonding with Children (ABC) program allows inmates to build and maintain a parent relationship during their time in jail. This program not only is beneficial to the female inmate, but gives the children an opportunity to share a connection with his or her mother.

Before the inmates are accepted into the ABC program, they will go through an extensive interview process and they must meet strict requirements. The inmate must be in the Maximizing Education Reaching Individual Transformation (MERIT) program, enrolled in a parenting class and have met all guidelines with Social Services.

For the visit, the inmates are in charge of organizing and preparing activities for their child. They are guided through every step by Officer Valenzuela. "I am very passionate about this program," said the 8-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Officer Valenzuela has been coordinating the ABC Program for 4 years and is hoping to expand the program.

Waiting in a separate room, family members discuss their hopes for their daughters, share stories and suggestions to one another. "It has only been two weeks since my 11-year-old grandson has been visiting his mother and his teacher has already seen an improvement in his grades and in his attitude," said Arlene Luna. Luna continued and said her tech-savvy grandson will check for updates about his mother on the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department website and eagerly looks forward to Saturday mornings.

Yvonne Artechi, another parent adds, "This is a privilege that I am thankful for."

The ABC program is a part of the Education- Based Incarceration Bureau that runs 67 inmate educational and vocational programs throughout Los Angeles County jails.

ABC Program - Inmate Participants
ABC Program - Inmate Participants

ABC Program
ABC Program

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