Bonds Beyond Bars: VOA Texas Mothers & Infants Nurturing Together Program

Step into a unique program helping incarcerated expectant moms in Texas. They join at seven months pregnant, learn about childbirth and parenting, and bond with their babies for three months. Then, they plan for their child’s care with trusted guardians before returning to jail. Explore their inspiring stories of love and resilience.

Stephanie Flores Perez

Q: Why are you incarcerated?

A: I am incarcerated because I was transporting illegal people.

Q: How did you learn about the VOA Texas MINT program?

A: I heard about the VOA Texas MINT program after finding out I was pregnant at five months.

Q: Tell us about your pregnancy and/or baby?

A: It was hard to be pregnant and incarcerated because I still had months to serve. There were a lot of negative people, fights, and limited access to the doctor. Now, I have a beautiful baby boy, he is very calm and is getting bigger every day. He sleeps good at night when it’s hard for him to stay asleep, he forgets his day and night routine.

Q: How many other children do you have?

A: I have two boys. Now, I feel blessed to have them and be part of me.

Q: What are you learning in the MINT program?

A: In the MINT, I am learning how to have more self-esteem and applying to college for nursing.

Q: After the program will you be released from prison?

A: After the program I will be released home.

Q: How has the MINT program changed your life?

A: The program has changed my life by mentally preparing me for the future bonding with my two boys and getting resources for college to start working on my long-term goals.

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