When you break the law, you go to jail. That's all there is to it.
But we also know that living with a family member in the criminal justice system isn't easy on anyone.
Often, parents are separated from their children from years, and it can have a lasting effect on their relationships.
Which is why a pair of sheriff's deputies from Sonoma County, California made a special exception for one inmate.
"It was a beautiful, special moment."
The county sheriff's department shared heartbreaking photos of an unnamed inmate saying goodbye to his dying mother on Facebook.
"This morning our Transportation Unit got to share in something very special," the post explained.
"We were honored to escort this inmate to visit his mother who is in hospice care. It was a beautiful, special moment. One we won’t soon forget."
"His family sent us these pics we took with them and wanted us to share with everyone. What a great experience… Really touching."
In a comment on the post, correctional deputy Mike Eaton shared that he was the one who set up the visit, with the help of a compassionate judge.
"I was able to talk to this inmate (person) the other day while working the unit he was housed in at the NCDF facility," Eaton wrote. "He was going through some stressful times."
Apparently, the woman in the photos is living out her final days in hospice care, and the inmate was concerned he would not be able to say goodbye to her.
"I listened to him and gave him some of my advice and gave him a couple phone calls to coordinate his visit with his mother," Eaton said.
"He was very grateful. Before shift was over I shook his hand and told him my thoughts were with him and his mother. I am glad it worked out so he could visit his mom."
"You gave this man something he won’t soon forget as he, hopefully, gets on a road to recovery himself."
The most uplifting part of this story is that comments left on the sheriff department's post were overwhelmingly positive.
While we don't know what the inmate in the pictures is charged with, we can all agree that in his situation, we would all want the chance to say goodbye to our parents.
One commenter shared a meaningful take on the photos, based on her own experience working with terminally ill patients.
"Thank you!" wrote Kristi Selby. "I’m a hospice nurse and I know how much this must have meant to her. This is just so beautiful."
"You not only gave this beautiful woman something so incredible at the end of her life, but you gave this man something he won’t soon forget as he, hopefully, gets on a road to recovery himself."
Other commenters who personally knew the inmate or his mother thanked the deputies for their compassion.
"I know this individual well," wrote Robin Busher. "I knew him before the Sheriff’s Office. We worked for the same company. He’s a good guy that made a bad decision."
"Having had a parent in hospice care, this is one of the most compassionate things you could do for son and mother," wrote Heather Finch.
Thank you SCSD for the incredible compassion you showed in these photos!