- - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

On June 11, Rep. Danny K. Davis, Illinois Democrat, hosted the 2016 Family Reconnection Program, an annual event in which children are welcomed to visit their incarcerated fathers in honor of Father’s Day. Some 60 children and 35 families, including mothers, grandmothers and sisters, filled two buses to participate in the “Love for Our Fathers” event in Sheridan, Illinois, about 90 minutes southwest of Chicago.

“As part of our fatherhood initiative, every year in honor of Father’s Day, we help children visit with their fathers in the Sheridan Correctional Center,” Mr. Davis told a reporter with Chicago TV station, ABC-7 WLS.

“We want to thank the Illinois Department of Corrections for working with us to make this happen,” Mr. Davis said. “Children get a chance to visit with their fathers. We all get a chance to talk about Father’s Day and fatherhood, and it’s one of the most exciting things that we do.

“I just thank all the mothers who brought their children out, all the grandmothers who brought their children out so they could go and get a chance to visit with their fathers on Father’s Day,” said Mr. Davis, a deacon of the New Galilee M.B. Church.

Dr. Phalese Binion, CEO of Westside Ministers Coalition, one of 13 partners who assist Mr. Davis’ office with the annual event, thanked him and others for giving children a chance to spend a few hours with their fathers at the men’s correctional facility.

Mr. Davis later addressed the men on fatherhood, parenting, mentoring and “second chance” family engagement initiatives. His office said as many as 2.7 million children under age 18 have a parent in prison or jail, and that these children often experience adverse psychological and social effects as a result of separation and shame of the parents’ imprisonment.

Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-Illinois, represents the 7th District in Illinois. He and D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton hosted a Capitol Hill forum June 15 with the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys, called “Making Young Black Men in the Prime Early Adulthood Years (16-24 years old) Visible and Strong; Years of the Most to Gain and the Most to Lose.”

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