Mothers and daughters are creating stronger bonds but in the unlikeliest of places: prison.

Girls Embracing Mothers (GEM), is a prison program uniting daughters with their incarcerated mothers.

Brittany Barnett, founder of GEM says, "No matter what, these women are mothers."

Barnett says, "We are breaking the cycle and building the bonds between mothers and daughters. But also between the girls who are going through a situation, they feel no one else can understand and they are now with a group, or a family as we call ourselves, who get it."

This type of ministry is close to Barnett's heart as her mother was in prison in her young adulthood.

Barnett says, "After experiencing the incarceration of my own mom…I just know how it greatly impacted my sister and I even as young adults. I can't imagine being nine or 10 and not having my mama present."

Her mom is free now and they get to spend a lot of time together these days.

For mothers to qualify for the program, they cannot be imprisoned for crimes against children or the elderly and must be infraction-free for six months, reports CBN.

The program is not just small activities like arts and crafts, but GEM also offers parenting courses and discuss the mother's spirituality and financial goals.

"God is the center of it…He knew what I needed. He knows what each one of us needs and He knows each one of these ladies in here and He knows their hearts." 

Angelica Zaragoza, was once a mother who benefitted from GEM and is now an employee of the ministry.

Zaragoza remembers being on the other side, "It's a mixture of all feelings, you're happy, you're excited you're embarrassed.

"My first visit with my daughter, with GEM, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't even speak to her. I knew she was disappointed in me. I knew I had hurt my baby."

GEM benefits not only the mothers and daughters who attend but also the prison system as being connected to one's family increases a woman's chances of staying out of prison again.

Jennifer Cozby, Senior Warden at one of the prisons GEM visits, says, "We don't want that disconnection because once they are released from the facility we still want to make sure that we're focusing on our recidivism and that they still have that family connection."

Myeshia Garcia, a member of GEM, says that connection goes beyond the relationship with her two girls.

Garcia says, "I didn't get that 'God loves you.' And 'You're valuable and wonderfully and fearfully made.' So I instill it in them."