Girl Scouts meet in prison, with fathers

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Girl Scouts meet in prison, with fathers
6
Sun, 06-18-2006 - 9:18am

I wasn't sure where to put this, because I think it is of interest to all parents/leaders on this board.

It is so sad to read about where these children are in their lives but rewarding to see that a program we care about is trying a new way to make it work.

I'm thinking of a boy from our pack whose Mom was incarcerated and wondering if he went to see her once a month to work on something if it would have made a difference.

Here is the link to the story.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1110AP_Prison_Dads.html

Kinda puts every program I've working with in a different light.

Avatar for scoutnut
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Sun, 06-18-2006 - 1:48pm

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars is a program that has been going on for some time now.

 

Avatar for cl_cathiann
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 06-18-2006 - 6:52pm
I just read an article a few weeks ago about a similar program at the prison here too.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2000
Mon, 06-19-2006 - 5:58pm

Well, perhaps I am too negative, but I can't get excited over this idea.
Admittedly, I did not read the whole article - reacting to just the summary and the idea.

First off - - part of the "punishment" of prison is the fact that you are isolated from family and friends. While I do understand and sympathize with the innocent girls, I don't really agree with making everything easier on those incarcerated.

Secondly - (and this is the main thing that really bothers me) I recently had to undergo background checks to be a Girl Scout volunteer and to be allowed to be around girls. The fact that I am already a teacher and have already undergone similar background checks didn't matter. I still had to pay for these Girl Scout background checks.

To then find out that we are sending girls into PRISONS where we know there are likely sex offenderes, violent criminals and the like - - - I'm sorry, but that just makes no sense to me. There's no way I would want my daughter in such a troop.

Avatar for scoutnut
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Mon, 06-19-2006 - 10:33pm

You had to pay for your own background check for Girl Scouts?

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2000
Tue, 06-20-2006 - 9:44am

We did not have to pay. But, our council is somewhat in financial difficulty and strongly suggested that we all could pay for our own in order not to "divert funds" from the girls. Most people went ahead and paid for it.

I am not upset that I had to be checked out. But, when I already had forms in hand that I was checked out by the department of public welfare, the state police and the FBI - - I do believe it was a waste of money to perform those checks again.

Also, in our council it is pretty much suggested that every parent become registered. If they ever want to attend a meeting, chaperone or drive for a trip - they are expected to be registered. So, essentially, yes they are expecting most/all parents to be registered and pass these background checks.

As for- "The inmates are the girls parents."
I have seen enough in the world to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the fact these people are parents in no way makes them automatically safe for girls to be around. And I don't see drug offenses as some minor little thing and not a problem for girls to be around. In fact, I see it more dangerous than many things. A little girl is not likely to be convinced to be a rapist or murderer by being around those who have committed these crimes. But surrounding little girls by the idea that "everyone's" family is into drugs, that it is quite common and normal - - that I do see as a danger of desensitivation. At least they are seeing the down side of it too, but, I still do think that spending a lot of time in groups tied together based on the commonality of criminal activity is a mistake.

Don't get me wrong - I think these little girls are probably very much in need of the scouting program. I just would prefer to see it done in the context of positive role models who have made the right choices in life, rather than inmates who haven't - be that foster parents, school teachers, community volunteers, their other non-incarcerated parents. I really don't see the benefit of connecting scouting and prisons in people's minds.

I do, of course, realize that my daughter is not going to be in one of these troops.
But just because it does not affect my daughter does not mean that I can't still be concerned.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Tue, 06-20-2006 - 1:01pm

I suppose that would be a concern.

You wouldn't want an 'at-risk' girl walk away from the program thinking that you can do drugs, go to jail and as long as you are 'good' you can do neat stuff. And, since their leaders would receive specific training, they would be able to help the girls see the diffence...

I assume that these troops do other activities as well. This would also emphaize the difference between a productive life and a life of crime.

Although, I wonder if the dads have to register as girl scouts. (to drive up numbers :D)