Slideshow: A "Day with Dad" at a maximum security prison

It was an emotional day of father-daughter dances, conga lines and heartfelt conversations between 29 prisoners and their kids at the annual "Day with Dad" event at the Darrington Unit south of Houston.

Jaden opens his gift bag from his father Jason Jackson. Volunteers collect and organize age appropriate items that fathers then put into gift bags the day before the Day with Dad.
Jaden opens his gift bag from his father Jason Jackson. Volunteers collect and organize age appropriate items that fathers then put into gift bags the day before the Day with Dad.  Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

A recent annual gathering for prisoners and their children at a maximum-security facility south of Houston offers an unvarnished look at how convictions complicate fatherhood.

John Green reunites with his son in the middle of the Darrington Unit gym. The 29 participating inmates and their kids ran into each other's arms to kick off the day of events.Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

 

Juan Cantu dances with his daughter, Esperanza, for the emotional father-daughter dance. Boys also had a few private minutes with their fathers in a challenge coin exchange.Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

 

As "Love Train" plays, Johnny Blevins follows his daughter, Madison, in the conga line that leads the group to the prison chapel.Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

 

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During activities after lunch, Aaron McCuin laughs with his son, Kaiden.Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

 

Juan Cantu presents his son, Juan, with a challenge coin, discussing what it means to be a good man in the eyes of God.Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

 

Brittney leaps into the arms of her father, Terry Solley, in the middle of the Darrington Unit gym. The full day of activities focuses on bonding experiences between incarcerated fathers and their kids.Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

 

Terry Solley hugs his daughter, Brittney, before she leaves the prison and he returns to his daily life at the Darrington Unit.Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

 

Luis Deleon and his son, Sebastian, pray as the "Day with Dad" event comes to an end.Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

 

Inmates spent the day before the "Day with Dad" event making frames with custom messages for their kids to take home.Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune