A recent news story discussed the Get On The Bus Program at San Quentin Prison in California, and why this program is allowed. Children who spend time with their fathers and who have a relationship with this parent tend to grow to be better adjusted and more confident individuals, doing better in school and in life than children who do not have the influence of a father in their lives. Many fathers spend this day each year incarcerated for substance abuse and crimes resulting from this activity. Since the fathers can not go to the kids many prisons across America have special programs to allow families to spend this day together, and Get On The Bus is one of these programs at San Quentin. The sight of children of all ages getting off a bus in a prison courtyard is one that is not frightening but it is a little sad. All of these children have lost daily contact with their father, often because of drugs, alcohol, and substance abuse related issues.
Substance abuse tears apart many families every single day in this country. When children are forced to visit parents in prison for nonviolent crimes the fabric of society is at risk. Substance abuse needs to be treated, but substance abuse treatment facilities that give ideal results can be expensive and may not be available due to budget constraints in many cases. This leaves the individual with short term treatment designed to provide a temporary fix instead of the treatment methods that provide the most effective results and the best chance for a full and permanent recovery. Better treatment is critical. Not just for the sake of the people with a substance abuse problem but also for the next generation.