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Inmates and families reunited during emotional Halloween-themed event

Posted at 11:29 PM, Oct 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-14 14:13:54-04

An emotional reunion brought together inmates and their families for a one-of-a-kind Halloween-themed event.

The Casa Grande Housing Facility near Russell Road and Valley View Boulevard was full of hugs, tears, and family as inmates from the High Desert State Prison were reunited with their wives and kids.

Many of these fathers were getting the chance to hold their newborns for the first time.

“These guys have made some bad choices but at the end of the day they’re human they still have a soul and families that are counting on them,” said event organizer Jake Bodine.

Since 2009, God Behind Bars has been reuniting inmates and their families, allowing those behind bars a glimpse of much needed hope as they serve time.

“It’s a warm feeling, just to spend time and give us this opportunity,” said Michael, an inmate, and father of three.

“I just got to stay strong for my kids and for my husband,” said his wife, Heidi. “I am his backbone as he is mine but now he needs me more.”

After the reunion, the families were invited to trunk-or-treat around Las Vegas police cruisers and take part in a Halloween festival.

Organizers say this event gives families the opportunity to feel like a normal one and is a big step in ending the cycle of incarceration.

“The best way to do that is to do a better job of getting people behind bars better connected with their families so when they go back into the communities they have something to start living for,” said James Dzurenda, of the Nevada Department of Corrections.