A child sentenced to serve life without a mother : the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program and incarcerated women's mothering strategies
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The purpose of this research is to understand the emotional and physical impacts a mother's incarceration has on her children and to closely examine a program designed to help alleviate such burdens. We will study familial relationships within the confines of a prison system while exploring the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program, which aims to strengthen the relationship between incarcerated mothers and their daughters. It is through this unique program that incarcerated women are afforded the rare opportunity to reclaim their mothering role. Given this, we will investigate the various mothering strategies employed by these women to successfully mother beyond bars. The primary ambition of most separated families is to reunite after incarceration. "Positive reunion is often the result of opportunities for continued contact between mothers and their children during a mother's incarceration" (Henriques, 1996). Prison visitation has also proven to be effective in reducing recidivism, decreasing prison violence, and thwarting the intergenerational cycle of imprisonment. However, 63% of women in state prisons are placed 100 miles or more from their families, making regularly visitation extremely cumbersome (Mosteller, 2019). The Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program breaks through this constraint by offering its troop members transportation to and from the correctional centers at no cost to these families.
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