Prisoner Dad Photos: Program Reunites Kids With Their Parents

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Getting incarcerated affects the whole family.

A Nightline segment has been making rounds online again, reminding viewers how bad it gets for kids when their parent is locked up.

Correctional Service Canada estimates that three-quarters of federal U.S. inmates are fathers.

Parents serving time in prison rarely see their kids; a study from the University of South Florida finds that most inmates only get two visits during their entire sentence. It also found that the more family visits those incarcerated received, the less likely they would be back in prison after their time behind bars.

About one in 14 U.S. children have an incarcerated parent. Amaya Matthews, 9, is one of those kids.

In the Nightline segment, she's excited to see her father, in spite of him breaking promises to come back home.

"Having your dad behind bars is a really big deal," Matthews says. "This is the one time you can sit in his lap, let him hug you."

By airing special day-long visits between incarcerated fathers and their kids, Nightline shows that parenting doesn't end when you're serving time.

Dads embraced their children, who tackle hugged their long-absent parents.

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For some, it was for the first hugs. One girl interviewed had never met her father, and knew him only through phone calls.

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The reunions were made possible through "One Day With God," a program run by the Forgiven Ministry.

This year, One Day With God has run 68 day visits in 34 different prisons.

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Fathers pose at a "One Day With God" event in North Carolina. (Photo: Alamance-Orange Prison Ministry)

Over the summer, imprisoned dads in Tennessee got a chance to see their kids.

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A hug from an incarcerated man in Mountain City, Tennessee. (Photo: Youtube)

Four of the prisons housed women, where the program paired mothers with their children.

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A mother in Huron Valley Correctional Facility, a prison in Michigan, spends time with her children. (Photo: Robin Buckson/AP)

In Canada, 180,000 kids have an incarcerated parent.

A similar organization exists in Canada. Foster, Empowering and Advocating Together (FEAT) is a non-profit that runs summer camps, mentorship, and empowerment opportunities for children with incarcerated parents.

FEAT funds bus rides to prisons in southeast Ontario. These family trips include free food, drinks, and games to keep kids entertained, while connecting with other youth who know exactly what they're going through.

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