Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Different Sort of Father's Day News Story

From Ash:

I just got finished writing This Week's Recommended Reading, when this just posted, and you just have to read it. But you may need a tissue.

AP reporter Deborah Hastings filed this story about a father-daughter Girl Scout troop. That by itself, might be sweet, but what makes this unique is that the Scout meetings are held at an Ohio prison. One of a handful of such programs in the nation, and the only one for fathers, the girls' fathers are all serving prison sentences -- some long enough that they won't leave prison until their girls are adults themselves.

The one thing I wish the piece did was follow-up on if the program has changed the convicts, effected recidivism, etc. But just thinking about the men saying the Girl Scout pledge with their ponytailed little girls -- oh, just read it yourself. It's a pretty short piece, but the images will stay with you, I promise. If you're a daughter, you'll probably want to hug your father a little longer, and if you're a dad with a little girl, you probably won't let that hug end.


Blogger Lisa Daly said...

It's great that something is being done to help retain a family social structure in families affected by certain prison sentences - whether caused by socio-economic problems or simple desire to get an 'easier' life.

Especially thinking about the type of 'drug prisoners' in Ireland, who tend to be from the lower end of the drug food chain - thus coming from poorly educated welfare backgrounds, repeating a family cycle that their parents might have been part of.

It can only be a good thing that these families are educated in a more formalised environment, with structured routines and tried-and-tested activities. That the prisoners are not too 'big' and 'hard' to get down and dirty with sewing and craft work is encouraging.

Prisons need more programmes like this to supplement social skills that many prisoners are deficient of by the nature of their home environment.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes we forget that inmates miss their children too. I once worked at a prison as a psychologist, so I've seen first-hand what prolonged absence from their children can do.

I smuggled in my guitar one day and played some Johnny Cash tunes for the inmates who were missing their families. They were very responsive, but it didn't bring them any closer to their children. This sounds like a great program.

Oh, BTW, now that I think of it, I wrote a song for my daughter that I'd like to share with all of you. A son or daughter is the greatest Fathers Day gift a father could ask for. We must treasure, and never take our children for granted.

Daddy's Girl
words and music by Dr BLT (c) 2007

1:19 PM  

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