Many little girls dream of dancing with their dads, and this Virginia jail’s mission is to reunite inmates with their daughters in an evening of glitz and glamour.
Dapper dads at the Richmond City Justice Center dressed up in suits and ties to lead their little girls in the jail’s sixth annual father-daughter dance on Sunday.
“It started out as simply a dance in the jail, which was great, but our goal is to return folks to the community different than they were when they came in,” the facility's internal programs director Sarah Huggins Scarbrough told InsideEdition.com. “The No. 1 way to break the cycle and to break recidivism is to reunite the families.”
Scarbrough said the goal is to help inmates have better lives outside prison by encouraging them to bond with their families.
Most incarcerated fathers are eligible to attend the dance if they show progress in programs offered inside the jail. If chosen, the fathers must then attend a 30-hour parenting course.
“[It’s] a very effective curriculum,” Scarbrough said. “The cherry on top is being able to participate in the [dance].”
In addition to the father-daughter dance, Scarbrough said the jail also offers a basketball event, where inmate can play with their sons, and a back-to-school cookout for the entire family, thanks to an initiative launched by Sheriff C.T. Woody, Jr.
“Everyone knows locking them up and throwing away the key isn’t the solution – you can’t arrest away the problem,” she said. “We want better citizens so we do everything we can to prepare them to do something different when they get out.”