RICHMOND, Virginia (ABC) -- The bond between a father and his daughter is a beautiful thing, but being behind bars can put a strain on the relationship. So a jail in Virginia is doing what it can to make sure inmates don't return. They're throwing a father daughter dance to motivate the dads to stay out of trouble.
The room was filled with so much regret and yet so many dreams. All of the prisoners at the Richmond city jail, getting ready for their big event admit the they made poor choices, especially for their children. Ronnell Glasgow says, "I am definitely failing as parent right now, just by being outside of her life."
Julian Edwards is serving four years for drug distribution. Joey Atkins is awaiting trial for illegal gun possession, and Ronnell Glasgow is serving seven years for selling drugs. But they say none of it is their daughters' fault.
At home, 8-year old A'Mya Thomas getting ready too. "I get to touch him, I get to hug him and I get to kiss him."
Sheriff C.T. Woody says he's reminding these men why they need to stay out of jail by inviting these little girls to the city lockup to come dance with their fathers. "They are not hard core criminals. They can be very good citizens, and the best way to make a good citizen is to make
good fathers," says the sheriff.
Dressed up, you forget they're serving hard time. Until they break down into tears when their daughters come bouncing past the steel doors. The dance only lasted for an hour or two but in this short time, in this small room, these young girls had real moments with their fathers.
Ronnasya Glasgow, just 7 years old, tried to explain. "It felt good and um..." But she chokes up and cries, while her father Ronnell comforts her. "It's alright, it's alright."
When he does time, his daughter does time and he told us he'll never let that happen to her again.