The Bexar County Jail hosted a special Mother’s Day event for female inmates Friday morning as part of their MATCH program.
That is a program that assists female inmates in becoming better mothers and better people as they prepare to be released.
One of the speakers was Caroline Reyes, who has been in jail 10 times, including a stint at a state prison. She said she lead a life of drugs and prostitution, but that for the last seven years, she has been clean and sober.
“There is hope you can change your life no matter what you're in here for,” Reyes told the 26 inmates in attendance.
Reyes has also become a businesswoman. She is a property manager, and has been a director for a home for women, and is currently the president of the Lakeview Baptist Church.
“From a crackhead to a businesswoman, it is a big thing, a big step," Reyes said.
“Because of our backgrounds, I thought it was hard to find a job," said Nancy Arroyo, an inmate. "Now I know there are ways to get a job."
Reyes also focused on the children. She had three kids but sent them to their grandmother so she could keep up her drug habit.
“'I am giving you my children because I want dope,'” Reyes said she told her mother. "'I am giving you my children because I want the streets. I am giving you my children because I want the bloods.' Because that’s what I represented out there and now I represent the blood of Jesus.”
Missing Mother’s Days while she was in prison was tough on Reyes.
She said now that she has turned her life around, they are very supportive.
Georgina Martinez will be in prison for Mother’s Day. He daughter is 17.
“It's something new I have never experienced," Martinez said. "I have always been out with her."
Missing the holiday with children serves as more motivation for the inmates to turn their lives around.
“You can change your life no matter what you're in here for," Reyes said.