It wasn’t exactly bring your daughter to work day, but Saturday was an important day for 26 Indianapolis residents regardless: It was Indiana’s first-ever father-daughter prison dance, organized by the state’s Department of Corrections.
All of the attendees were low-risk offenders who had gone through parenting classes. And for one day, they were allowed to wear civilian clothes, eat a regular dinner, and dance with their daughters.
“There’s nothing that means more to me than my daughters, you know,” Tracy Price, one of the fathers, told Indiana NBC affiliate WTHR. “Makes you escape this place a little bit, you know? Makes her feel like a princess.”
The event’s organizer, Ericka Sanders, put the day together from a personal place. “I know what it’s like not to have your dad, not to grow up with your dad,” she said. Her goal with the event, she added, was to “Help them build, rebuild, strengthen the relationships that they have with their daughters, because all the dads at this facility are getting ready to re-enter society.”
Superintendent Laurie Johnson said the event “changes the atmosphere” inside the prison, and hopes to hold more for other fathers. “It softens hearts. That’s what it does.”