The Girls Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington participate in a unique program, called Girl Scouts Beyond Bars, that facilitates a GS troop for girls whose moms are in prison.
Girl Scouts Beyond Bars serves girls whose mothers are incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon. GSBB’s primary goal is to lessen the impact of parent-child separation. Children with a parent in prison are five times more likely to come in contact with the justice system themselves. They can have abandonment issues and be at risk for abuse, decreased school participation, and cycling into criminal behavior.
Did you know that the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility is the only women’s prison in Oregon? Girls, who can live anywhere in Oregon or SW Washington, often endure hours in the car commuting to the prison a couple of times a month for troop meetings.
A Circle of Strength members came together to assemble 30 (yes, thirty!) car kits for the girls in the troop. The kits contained all sorts of items to make the car trips easier – books, games, puzzles, hairbands, sunglasses, lip gloss, stuffies, snacks, socks and hygiene products.