Posted: Jul 14, 2014 1:49 PM by Troy Gaulden
Updated: Jul 14, 2014 6:49 PM
ANGOLA - More than 200 children got the chance to play games at Angola Monday with their locked-up loved ones. It's part of Angola's Returning Hearts program to promote positive parenting while aiming to keep kids out of trouble.
Angola inmate Earl Davis says he only gets to see his son around four times a year. This event gives Davis the opportunity to father his son.
"Being locked up and not having the opportunity to visit all the time and not getting to spend time with him when he was younger, this is the time I have to spend and minister to him," he said.
Angola Warden Burl Cain says the program attempts to decrease the repeating cycle of violence in at-risk youth.
"When we have a dad and a child trying to interact and the inmate is trying to be responsible and show his child how to live responsibly, then he has to be responsible here or he wouldn't be having this visit. It's about the children though. It's about kids," he said.
Former presidential candidate and political commentator Mike Huckabee also attended the event to speak to the incarcerated fathers.
"Every person makes life choices. Nobody can make those for you. You make them yourself," he said. "If you make bad ones you're going to have consequences, but if you make good ones there's also going to be consequences. You look at the consequences you want and then you decide which path is going to get you to where you want to be. If people make those decisions they'll be all right.
Huckabee also said that Angola has the best template of any prison in America to rehabilitate inmates.