How this year's free Get on the Bus program is restoring hope to incarcerated families here in California


When healing and restoration, laughter is often considered the best medicine, but sometimes a warm and tender hug can do wonders. The Get on the Bus visit program embodies this sentiment beautifully, as it is a heartwarming initiative that brings families of incarcerated individuals together for specialized visits in California.

The Program's Mission

Families from various parts of the state come together with beaming smiles and tears of happiness to participate in significant reunions organized by the partnership between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Center for Restorative Justice Works (CRJW). The program's primary objective is to enhance family bonds, both while in prison and after release.

Facilitating Transformative Experiences

The Center for Restorative Justice Works (CRJW) is dedicated to facilitating meaningful family visits beyond reunions. They understand the significant emotional toll separation from a parent can have on a child's well-being. With this in mind, the CRJW has designed the Get on the Bus program to be a comprehensive initiative to reunite families while promoting healing and positive relationships in the face of adversity.

The Journey

As families embark on their journey to correctional facilities across the state, they are greeted with empathy and assistance every step of the way. The program offers complimentary transportation for children and their caregivers, removing any financial obstacles preventing them from visiting their loved ones. Additionally, travel bags are provided to ensure everyone has necessities, making the trip as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Reuniting with Incarcerated Loved Ones

Upon arriving at their destination, incarcerated loved ones greet their families with open arms, sparking overwhelming emotions. Tears of joy and relief, mixed with sorrow, create a decisive moment that cannot be easily described. These moments represent hope, reminding us that love has no limits and that family connections can withstand even the most challenging times.

Watch the video below for an up-close look at the Get on the Bus visitation program.

A Lifeline of Love and Compassion

The Get on the Bus program offers more than just transportation. It serves as a lifeline and a source of healing, showcasing the resilience of the human spirit. Its purpose is to strengthen the bond between incarcerated parents and their children and provide a glimmer of hope beyond prison walls. If you have a family member incarcerated in California, this program is an excellent opportunity to reunite with your loved ones and restore hope.

The Get on the Bus program is a prime example of how love and compassion can bridge the gap between those behind bars and their loved ones on the outside. This program is a beacon of kindness and restorative justice. It proves that love can transform lives in a world characterized by judgment and stigma.

Over the past weeks, the Get on the Bus program made stops at the following facilities:

  • California Institution for Women (CIW)
  • High Desert State Prison (HDSP)
  • Central California Women's Facility (CCWF)
  • California State Prison, Sacramento (SAC)
  • Folsom State Prison (FSP)
  • San Quentin State Prison (SQ)

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