|Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Program Celebrates First Anniversary|
|By Tami Romriell|
Editor's note: The following is reprinted with premission from the Idaho DOC
The Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center (PWCC) and the Silver Sage Girl Scout Council will celebrate the first anniversary of the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program. It is an inmate mother-child visitation program that began as a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) demonstration project in November 1992. Girl Scouts Beyond Bars was started at the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center on April 11, 2009 with six inmates and 10 children. Since that time the program has seen a growth in the amount of inmates who are anxious to become a part of this program.
Currently there are seven inmates and 11 children who take part in this monthly program where subjects such as healthy living, budgeting, making good choices, accountability, and communicating effectively are taught. The girls are also offered the opportunity to earn Fun Patches based on turning in homework assignments.
“The Fun Patches are something we just started this year as a way to firmly implant the monthly lessons that are being taught,” stated Tami Romriell, coordinator and administrative assistant to the warden at PWCC.
The program is co-facilitated by Stephanie Richardson of the Silver Sage Girl Scouts, Charity Potter a clinician at PWCC and Gail Bachmann a correctional officer at PWCC.
“I wasn’t getting any visits from my girls prior to this program,” Carly Sullivan, an inmate at PWCC said. “Now, my girls are writing me and really talking to me when I call them. It has reestablished my relationship with them and opened up lines of communication with my whole family. It also gives me something to look forward to every month.”
Paulee Hamilton, another inmate at PWCC, remarked, “I only get to see my girls at Girl Scouts. It has helped with my relationship with them and my mother as well. I am getting to know my children all over again, especially through the projects we do together.”
The Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Program is managed through donations and a grant. If you are interested in donating to this program, please contact Stephanie Richardson of the Silver Sage Girl Scout Council at 234-9076.
Corrections.com author, Tami Romriell, is the coordinator and administrative assistant to the warden at PWCC
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