Girl Scouts of the USA Receives Department of Justice Grant to Help Build Girl Scouts Beyond Bars and Girl Scouting in Detention Centers


April 2, 2003

Ellen Christie
(212) 852 8581

Marion F. Swan
(212) 852-8012

New York, N.Y.—Girl Scouts of the USA has received $1.8 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to support and expand two programs for at-risk girls—Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) and Girl Scouts in Detention Centers (GSDC). This grant was secured with the support of Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) as part of the FY 2003 Federal Omnibus Appropriations bill.

Girl Scouts of the USA is strongly committed to ensuring that every girl, everywhere has a chance to benefit from all the values and skills-for-life programs that Girl Scouting offers. The organization has established two national programs—one that reaches out to teens and tweens residing in detention centers and one for girls whose mothers are incarcerated.

"Through Girl Scouting, we make extra efforts to reach at-risk girls, said Jackie Barnes, Interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. "We do not believe that residing in a detention center or having a mother who is incarcerated should stand in the way of these girls becoming all they can be. Our goal is to help all involved develop a strong sense of self-esteem and a positive outlook for the future."

Currently operating in 30 sites nationwide, Girl Scouts Beyond Bars was first established by the Girl Scouts in Maryland in 1992. The goal of this mother-daughter prison visitation program is to reduce the chances that the daughters of incarcerated women will end up in similar situations. It also helps rebuild mother-daughter bonds and gives the incarcerated women a chance to build their own sense of self-worth.

The DOJ grant will provide 24 different sites with up to $40,000. The funds will be used to expand current GSBB programs or develop new programs that foster bonding between mothers and their daughters, provide parenting workshops for the mothers, and offer educational and life skills activities for the girls.

In the 1990s, Girl Scouts started bringing its programs to detention centers. Girl Scouts in Detention Centers (GSDC) is a court-mandated program for teens and tweens that is currently operating in approximately 72 sites nationwide.

Twenty-four different GSDC sites will receive up to $20,000 to provide mentoring support and life skills development programs. Subjects covered will include financial literacy, drug use prevention, and developing a sense of empowerment.

About Girl Scouts of the USA

Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent organization for girls, and has more than 3.8 million girl and adult members. Now in its 91nd year, Girl Scouting cultivates values, social conscience, and self-esteem in girls, while teaching them critical life skills to later succeed as adults. In Girl Scouting's special girls-only environment, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. The organization strives to serve girls from every corner of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. To volunteer your time or make a donation, call 1(800) GSUSA 4 U. Visit us at www.girlscouts.org.