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.

Yesenia Garcia

Q: Why are you incarcerated?

A: I am incarcerated due to a poor choice I made trying to distribute drugs.

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

A: I was told about the VOA Texas MINT Program at the prison I was serving time in, in Bryan.

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

A: My baby’s name is April Marie. She was born at 37 weeks. She is a very alert baby and is always aware of her surroundings. She also sleeps well at night.

Q: How many other children do you have?

A: I have ten other children, ages 1 – 22 years old.

Q: What are you learning in the MINT program?

A: Being in the MINT program has drawn me closer to God and has made me a better person and parent. I’m peaceful and happy knowing I’m safe.

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

A: After the program, I will be returning to Bryan to finish my sentence. April’s dad and grandmother will take care of her. My release date is September 1, 2027. I’m preparing for separation from April by remembering every moment we’re sharing, loving her, showing her my love and bonding with her.

Q: How has the MINT program changed your life?

A: The MINT program has changed my life for the better. I’ve learned how to be patient and learned how to be patient. I have found myself and know who I am thanks to the MINT program.

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