Issues and Facts
  • Our Children Enjoy Rare Treat: Ice Cream with Their Incarcerated Parents

    Posted on   8/18/2014  3:44 PM

    Ice cream, children, and family.

    The three go hand-in-hand.

    Yet for children of prisoners, it’s often impossible to enjoy ice cream with their incarcerated parents.

    We set out to change that after hearing from one of our teens whose father has been serving a life sentence since she was 3 years old:

    “It’s probably a small thing, but you know I realized I’ll never be able to have an ice cream cone with my dad.”

    As a program, Service Network for Children of Inmates is committed to creating lasting memories for our children, transforming impossibilities into realities. And so, during our summer prison bonding visits, we were determined to have ice cream cones and sundaes at all of our visits.

    Logistically, this was challenging since most correctional facilities are in remote areas and purchasing the ice cream at a local supermarket is not an option. We, instead, purchased ice cream and placed the containers in dry ice so it would stay frozen for the duration of each trip.

    Despite the additional coordination, it was all worth it. Seeing our children smiling as they enjoyed ice cream cones and sundaes with their incarcerated parents was very powerful.

    We have a concept that we follow as an organization: We don’t program for people, we program with people.

    Participants in our program realize that they not only have a voice in the direction of the program, but they are integral in the vitality and growth of the program as a whole.

    Oh, and the girl who was the catalyst for the ice cream and sundae treats, she was finally able to have an ice cream cone with her dad this summer, during a recent prison bonding trip.

    It was her last trip with us because in the fall she will be attending Bethune Cookman University as a pre-med student.

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