Girls Embracing Mothers (GEM) is dedicated to empowering girls with mothers in prison to break the cycle of incarceration and lead successful lives with vision and purpose.
GEM partners with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to carry out GEM’s amazing Pearl Program, which aims to reduce the trauma suffered by the girls as a result of the maternal separation due to the mother’s incarceration through enhanced group visitation between the mothers and daughters. Through this amazing partnership with TDCJ, the first Saturday of each month, GEM makes the 4.5-hour round trip from Dallas to women’s prisons in Gatesville to take a group of girls to visit their mothers for an enhanced 4-hour visitation. GEM provides “more than just a visit” by introducing and encouraging facilitated discussions between the mothers and daughters that are open and honest and revolve around critical life issues while building the mother-daughter bond. GEM is allowed to bring in supplies for arts and crafts and food for the girls to eat with the moms.
GEM tackles the timely need of restoring hope to the heartbreaking collateral damage of mass incarceration – children. On any given day, over 2 million children in this country have a parent in jail or prison. Studies show maintaining contact and healthy relationships between incarcerated parents and children in spite of barriers represented by prison walls is beneficial for both the children and their parents. This research evidences the importance of programs like GEM.
Support from the First Sunday Collection will help GEM cover the cost of its Pearl Program, including transportation, food, and arts and craft supplies. Our support will help bring visibility to this underserved population and more importantly provide programming that will empower girls with mothers in prison “break the cycle and build the bond.”
Please visit www.girlsembracingmothers.org for more information about GEM.