INDIANAPOLIS — For fathers who find themselves out of their child's life and behind bars, it can be tough to reenter and reestablish that bond once released from prison. A local non-profit is working to make the transition easier.
For Cavin Pogue even the thick walls of prison couldn't take away his passion for being a part of his daughter's life.
"When I left she was still my baby girl but not she's a teenager," Pogue said.
After losing his brother, Pogue said he found himself in a dark place that led to choices that landed him in Putnamville prison.
"I just basically wanted to strive to be the father she needed me to be again," Pogue said.
Through a program created by Ericka Sanders and her You Yes You! Project, Pogue was able to keep in touch through letters.
"It gave me the courage to be a man," he said.
Sanders said she got her start by doing a daddy daughter dance at the prison but quickly realized the fathers wanted more than just a moment, even more than just visitatio which limits interaction between the two.
"There's no touching, you can't sit on dad's lap," Sanders said. "You can't hug. You are across a table, sometimes through a window."
The fathers wanted to connect with their daughters beyond just a dance. Through the program, fathers get that chance but they must stay out of trouble and stay committed to the cause.
The You Yes You! Project just got a $50,000 grant from United Way. The money will be used to expand the program to other prisons to help even more daddy-daughter duos trying to navigate trying times, Sanders said.
"I was so happy to have him home after two years," Pogue's daughter Dajahnae said.