Get On The Bus

Our Mission

Get On The Bus – uniting children with their mothers and fathers in prison-this statewide prison visiting program trains and educates hundreds of volunteers and supporters throughout California and engages the media to raise awareness about the plight of children with a parent in prison.  Get On The Bus advocates for the right of children to see, embrace, and talk to their parent who is incarcerated.

For more information, please contact Lis Rios, GOTB Coordinator at, or (818)980-7714 Ext. 12.

What is Get On The Bus?

Get On The Bus brings children and their guardians/caregivers from throughout the state of California to visit their mothers and fathers in prison. An annual event, Get On The Bus offers free transportation for the children and their caregivers to the prison, provides travel bags for the children, comfort care bags for the caregivers, a photo of each child with his or her parent, and meals for the day (breakfast, snacks on the bus, lunch at the prison, and dinner on the way home all at no cost to the children’s family. On the bus trip home, following a four-hour visit, each child receives a teddy bear with a letter from their parent and post-event counseling. Get On The Bus is a program of The Center for Restorative Justice Works, a non-profit organization that unites children, families, and communities separated by crime and the criminal justice system.

Why do the children need transportation?

Children with a parent in prison are usually cared for by relatives, often grandparents. Many caregivers are unable to make the drive due to distance or expense. Get On The Bus offers a priceless opportunity a mother’s touch, a father’s hug, a family photo, a private conversation, and a connection with hope and healing.

When does it take place?

Each year around Mothers Day and Father’s Day, hundreds of children and their caregiver’s board buses and travel from cities all over the State of California to be united.

Get On The Bus Event Calendar

Our team members are currently working with each institution to identify future GOTB dates. 

Get On The Bus currently serves the following institutions:

  1. California Correctional Center (CCC)
  2. California Institute for Women (CIW)
  3. California Men’s Colony (CMC)
  4. California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (CSATF)
  5. Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF)
  6. Corcoran State Prison (CSP)
  7. Correctional Training Facility (CTF)
  8. Federal Correctional Institute, Dublin (FCI – Dublin)
  9. Folsom State Prison (FSP)
  10. Folsom Women’s Facility (FWF)
  11. High Desert State Prison (HDSP)
  12. San Quentin State Prison (SQSP)
  13. Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP)
  14. Valley State Prison (VSP)

How Can I Help?

Get On The Bus can only take place through the generosity of individuals and groups who have a heart for this special event. We can always use more help:

Volunteer to be on a local Get On The Bus Team. We welcome donations of all sizes:

Event Partner: $2000 (send by April 1st and get your company’s logo on the Event Day T-shirt!)

Bus Benefactor: $550 (send by April 1st and get your name on the Event Day T-shirt!)

Family Supporter: $350

Child’s Angel: $100

In-kind Donations: new backpacks, pencils, colors, new pillows, new blankets, school supplies, stamps, board games, stationery, and gift cards to Amazon – Subway –  McDonald’s – and cash cards.

Check out the GET INVOLVED tab