RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Girls for a Change held their 6th annual “Dance of their Own, Father-Daughter Dance” at the Richmond City Justice Center Sunday.
It was a chance for male inmates to connect and spend time with their daughters.
8News spoke with inmate Heath Taylor.
“It’s just a wonderful day and I wish it would never end,” Taylor said.
The event was held in coordination with Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody. In all, 11 inmates were selected to dress up and enjoy a day of dancing, games and bonding without the physical barriers of regular visitation at the Richmond City Justice Center.
Sheriff Woody said that the program is important in instilling the importance of family.
“Today we just want to instill how important family is and the importance of each and every dad knowing that while they can’t protect their daughters in here, they can protect them out there, and they can keep them from coming here,” Woody said.
Heath Taylor had a date with two of his daughters, one who is 18 and another who is only two-years-old.
He said the program has helped him change his behavior and be more accountable. Taylor said he wants to provide stability for his daughters.
“I know that they’re not going to grow up to be like me, but I don’t want them to find a man, have a man in their life that was like me,” Taylor said. “And I want them to know that God has given me the strength to protect them and the good sense to never neglect them.”
Sheriff Woody said that events like Date with Dad help rehabilitate inmates for when they are released.
“The families down here, they are communities, they will be released back out into the community,” Woody said. “So, we want them to be better citizens, not better criminals, and definitely better fathers.”