The South Carolina Department of Corrections hosted its second “A Father’s Voice” at Kirkland Correctional Institution.

The program allows inmates with children to record their voice reading a book. The child can then play that book whenever and wherever they want to.

Thousands of inmates in SCDC are separated from their child and for many of them they haven’t seen their child in years.

“Unfortunately I don’t get to see him.. with him being in DC and I’m in here.. it’s hard,” one inmate told 7News.

He’s been separated from his 8-year-old son for three years so far. “Even though I talk to him on the phone this right here is something special. This is something me and him can go back and read when I get out.”

That something special is an audiobook. Inmates with good behavior have the chance to record an audiobook that is then sent to their child.

“He said, ‘Mommy, Mommy, that’s daddy on the book.’ She said, ‘Yes he can read it to you every night.’ He said, ‘Are you serious… I can hear him all the time?'” an inmate explained his son’s reaction to receiving the book the first time he participated in the program.

“A Father’s Voice” was born out of initiatives established by the Riley Institute, which is named for former South Carolina governor and United States Secretary of Education Dick Riley. The institutes helps develop diverse programs that support and encourage education.

Riley attended the program Tuesday. He went into detail of how this program helps bridge a gap between children and incarcerated parents.

“This enables the fathers here to say to their children, ‘Reading is important and I’m your father and I want you to read it and I want you to enjoy reading it and I want you to read more,’ and that is wonderful for the children and the father.”

Close to 200 inmates have participated in the program since it started two years ago in the women’s prisons. This is the second time it was held at the men’s institution.

“I’m hoping that just this little book will change the way he’s thinking about certain things and his outlook on life.” Another inmate chimed in, “I just hope they realize how much I care for them they obviously know how much I care for them and how important reading is.”

The program started as “A Mother’s Voice” for the mothers serving time behind bars. The department has spent about $5,000 on more than 180 books. More than $7,000 has been given to the program in donations.

The department is able to purchase the audiobooks at a discount from Hallmark.