Eleven incarcerated fathers and 30 children and guests spent the day in the facility's recreation area amid mouthwatering aromas of holiday cookies, the sounds of shuffle board, basketball, book reading and children's laughter.
The Holiday with Dad event, coordinated by case managers James Bennett and Dwaine Short, allowed offenders who had graduated from the Inside Out Dads program to engage in activities specifically selected to encourage one-on-one interaction between father and child.
"During this time of year, it's children who are impacted the most by the separation from their fathers. Anything that we can do to minimize the impact of the father's absence is beneficial to both the offender and child," said Craig Grage, PCF assistant superintendent of programs.
Inside Out Dads is a program designed to promote responsible and active parenting.
One of the participants, Cannon Fisher, 31, Indianapolis, told staff members, "Today showed us what we're missing and inspires us to do better. My son and daughter got a thrill out of playing with dad."
Fisher, who is serving a sentence for dealing cocaine, is expected to be released in 2017.
"Family has been the catalyst for many individual achievements," PCF Superintendent Stanley Knight said. "If their only reason not to re-offend is to be a good role model to their children, then this program is a success."