The purpose of the Pearl Program is to lessen the impact of maternal separation due to incarceration by strengthening the mother-daughter relationship during the mother's incarceration through enhanced visitation sessions.
Through our partnership with women’s prisons in Gatesville, Texas, GEM serves girls with mothers in prison by taking them to visit their mothers in Gatesville the first Saturday of each month for an enhanced 4-hour visitation session. 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.
Without GEM, many girls would be unable to see their mothers often – if at all. In addition to lowering the likelihood of recidivism among incarcerated parents, there is strong evidence that maintaining contact with one’s incarcerated parent improves a child’s emotional response to the incarceration and supports parent-child attachment.
Upon the mother's release from prison, mothers and daughters are encouraged to remain actively involved with GEM, by volunteering and sharing their insight and experiences with current participants—making “Breaking the Cycle - Building the Bond” a consistent theme in their lives.