Because Only Together We Can

Build a World Where All Youth Are Safe, Strong & Valued

Who We Are

You Yes You! Project began to give to others unconditional belief and support. Incarcerated fathers was chosen because in the world of criminal justice and re-entry, the children left behind and the relationship with their fathers are often a footnote; You Yes You! Project wanted to make them the main topic.

It was important to create an environment behind prison walls that was inviting and memorable, but also could be used as the first step to building a better relationship even though the father was incarcerated.

YYY was launched in 2014 when Ericka Sanders organized the first father-daughter dance to take place inside an Indiana correctional facility at the now closed Indianapolis Re-Entry Educational Facility. The mission has since grown to build relationships between incarcerated fathers and their children

What we do, why we do it?

Connect incarcerated dads with their children

Father/Child Activities

Organize father/child activities including a father daughter dance, Halloween party and a back to school celebration

We Build Networks

 Bringing organizations that focus on re-entry services inside the prison facility for 2 hour workshops. Organizations including PACE, Goodwill of Central Indiana, EmployIndy, CareSource and Community Alliance of the Far Eastside are all partners and help our fathers prepare to re-enter society prior to release.

We Strengthen

Require the fathers to stay free of conduct violations and communicate or attempt to communicate with their children at least twice a week to take part in YYY programs.

Connecting incarcerated dads with their children

Get to know

YOU YES YOU!

Ericka loves Indianapolis. Born and raised on the North Side, Ericka is a proud North Central Panther. A writer at heart, she spent eight years as a journalist for The Indianapolis Recorder covering everything from the Indiana Pacers to writing an award winning series on the historic Ransom Place neighborhood to interviewing her favorite authors including the late E. Lynn Harris and Bebe Moore Campbell.

Ericka loves Indianapolis. Born and raised on the North Side, Ericka is a proud North Central Panther. A writer at heart, she spent eight years as a journalist for The Indianapolis Recorder covering everything from the Indiana Pacers to writing an award winning series on the historic Ransom Place neighborhood to interviewing her favorite authors including the late E. Lynn Harris and Bebe Moore Campbell.

 You Yes You! Project programs are currently at Putnamville Correctional Facility and is looking to expand into additional facilities and community organizations in the near future. 

Featured in

Indiana Prison Holds First-Ever Father-Daughter Dance

The event’s organizer, Ericka Sanders, put the day together from a personal place. “I know what it’s like not to have your dad, not to grow up with your dad,” ...

Group working to reestablish bond between kids and dads after prison

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.

Incarcerated dads bond with kids through nonprofit

For three years the non-profit You Yes You! has partnered with the Putnamville Correctional facility to make it happen.

Daddy daughter dance motivates inmates

The You Yes You Project organized the daddy-daughter dance. The men had to follow strict guidelines, attend required workshops and stay out of trouble.

Resources

PACE: Provides financial, income and employment, mental health and peer recovery coaching. Additionally, PACE provides youth employment services and HSE/basic adult education classes
Kids’ Voice of Indiana: Through its Community Mobile Law Program, Kids’ Voice of Indiana offers a free virtual mobile legal clinic every Thursday from 3-6 p.m. Additionally, they provide training, resources and technical assistance to Marion County attorneys and free legal advice on family law issues to both youth and adults at local community centers.
A non-profit health insurer, CareSource provides health coverage for Medicaid consumers and connects ex-offenders with health care before release. Additionally, it’s re-entry program works to assess and address health, well-being and social needs of ex-offenders.

More of What We Do!

We Read

Offer free books as part of our book club that encourage, inspire and offer tools to become better fathers. Past titles have included: 

  • “Becoming” by Michelle Obama,
  • “The Sun Does Shine” by Anthony Ray Hinton
  • “Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain” by Charles Cross
  • “I Can’t Make This Up” by Kevin Hart.

We Advocate

Require the fathers to stay free of conduct violations and communicate or attempt to communicate with their children at least twice a week to take part in YYY programs.

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