"The F.A.C.T. program has helped me to understand my child more by letting me know that I need to be there for him and my other children 100%. Hearing other peoples' stories and the things I was doing wrong really woke me up. I was there 24/7 for my children, but not the way they wanted and needed me to be. The one-on-one time together is something I will use more; and also the little things such as painting, going to the park, or anything that money doesn't have to be used on to entertain my children. I will do my best to implement this into their everyday lives. This program has given me a new and more realistic perspective about being a man."
- Keith Johnson (Father)
"I'm so glad that I took a chance because I have grown to like and respect all of the women that I have spent the past seven weeks getting to know. We all come from different backgrounds and the one thing that we all share in common is that we all have someone that we love and care about behind prison walls. I am so happy that I opened myself up to being part of this program.
It has opened my eyes to so many different aspects in life. I've learned to be a better mother for all of my children. I take the time to think of different ways to handle situations instead of just doing whatever comes to mind in that moment. I hope that this program can continue to grow so that other mothers and children have the same opportunity to experience the F.A.C.T. program as well. I believe that the fathers will come home with a new outlook on life and fatherhood. This program will help them be the best fathers that they can be to their children."
- Miriam Kemp (Mother)
"F.A.C.T. has helped me redefine things. The people in F.A.C.T. have assisted me in being more consistent, and the program has helped me to understand that there are professionals who still give much of themselves. Our children need us, and we are just as much in need of them. Bonds are meant to be maintained and understood. Being whole as a family means to make a solid effort with all the information and resources you have to protect and to preserve your relationships with your children. The F.A.C.T. Program is also one of the best avenues to true rehabilitation. Getting to know your child makes you face some harsh realities that you cannot run from. This should be a D.O.C. mandated program, just like Violence Prevention."
- Eric Burley (Father)
"The F.A.C.T. Program has helped me to better understand the importance of the father-child relationship, and the work that has to be maintained in order to keep that relationship as healthy as possible. It also helped me to be more open with how I feel, and it taught me that having a father in your life is very important."
- Gianni Oglesby (Daughter, 16)
"The experience has been healing for Gianni and I. My granddaughter and I for 15 years had no place to go to express our feelings surroundng my son being incarcerated. Also, me being a grandmother left to raise my grandchild, had no where to go to express what I was feeling. The F.A.C.T. Program enabled us to share on a deeper level the issues of our everyday life on Thursdays for 7 weeks. Most importantly, my granddaughter was able to get from her father what I could have never given her through the one-on-one sessions they experienced. It has changed her life completely and mine as well. I am thankful for everyone involved in the F.A.C.T. Program, especially our mentors and the love that was shared througout the group. It was an experience to be cherished."
- Javina Oglesby (Grandmother)
"There are no words to neither express nor match my gratitude with how the F.A.C.T. Program has touched me and my family's life. Over the last five weeks, I have sat with a group of good mothers with positive vibes, sharing personal information, and being able to share it myself when it was my turn. Everyone made it easy to be there each week. Just to know that there is a program that's out here wanting to help men behind bars maintain relationships with their children speak volumes. You all gave me, my son, and his father a chance to bond and build a much needed relationship. Thank you ladies for sharing your time, knowledge, and experience. You have opened up my eyes, mind, and attitude on motherhood. Everything that I learned, I will continue in my daily parenting. Once again, thank you."
- Ayanna Norman (Mother)
"The F.A.C.T. Program helped me to learn more things about my dad that I did not know about him. It has also helped me and my dad bond better. Another thing it showed me was how to make better decisions in my life. I know that incarceration is not an option."
- Yass'ir Cooley (Son, 16)
"The F.A.C.T. Program has helped me first to find out who I am and what I want out of life for my children and myself. It has helped me to better my relationship with my son, as well as improve my parenting skills. I have learned how to be patient and attentive when communicating with him. For example, I've learned how to present a question to him, wait for an answer, and really listen to what he's saying before making any comments or suggestions. I've learned to make sure that my response is encouraging and helps him to better his situation without judging him or belittling him with a harsh or angry answer. I have learned how to help, rather than to hurt. I have learned how to express my love to my children with emotional, physical, and spiritual love, instead of just giving finances or materialistic things. I've found out that a simple conversation and laughter with my son is way better than a pair of Jordan's any day to him. It's also nice to share stories without guards and teh walls we have to put up when they are around. There are no arguments or negative feedback. The F.A.C.T. Program altogether has helped me dig deep inside of me and pulled the man out of me that I never even knew existed. It helped me strengthen my relationship with my son. The skills that I've learned, I plan to implement into my everyday life. When I get the opportunity to be back with my children, I'll show them that they are my priority. I love them more than life itself, and that will be demonstrated through speech and action. Whatever I say I will do, and whatever I do, I will continue to do to stay home. God willing, I will be able to keep them from ever coming to any State Correctional Institution. Period. 'Prison is NOT an option!'"
- Aaron Smith (Father)
"I've learned through the F.A.C.T. Program that dads are really sorry that they can't be in our lives right now. If they were outside of prison, they would be in our lives most or all of the time. Also, the arts and crafts helped my dad and me to get a bond going. That really helped us on the first day."
- Shakyra Strong (Daughter, 11)