Valentine's Day in Butte County Jail

Feb 16, 2014 6:15 PM

Behind these nine-foot fences and rows of razor-sharp barbed wire are dozens of inmates serving hard time inside the Butte County Jail.

And on the outside looking in are the people who love them.

For Laura Perez of Oroville, this Valentine's Day is heart wrenching. Her son, daughter and husband are all locked up inside Butte County Jail.

“I feel lost without them,” Perez said. “When they’re in here you don't feel complete. There’s always this hole.”

But today that hole in Perez's is a little smaller.

She got the chance to speak with all three of them through Butte County Jail's video visitation system. And for 20 minutes on a screen and by a phone, Perez shared this special day with her family.

“It’s really hard out here without you,” Perez told her husband. “I really love you.”

And though it's not the same as physically being able to see her loved ones, Perez says she’s gratefully for what time she does have.

“20 minutes is like a drop in a bucket,” she said. “But it brings the sunshine to a dark cloud; it brightens my heart and my day.”

But when the time is up and reality comes crashing back, Perez's is again without her family and her heart is filled with mixed emotions

“I feel happy because I get to see them,” she said. “And sadness because I know when I walk away it’s just me again.”


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