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Girl Scouts attend prison sleepover to visit their moms in Gig Harbor

A program called "Girl Scouts Beyond Bars" sponsors girls for a one-night sleepover with their moms serving time in prison.

More than a dozen girls spent the night in a Gig Harbor prison last week, visiting their moms who are incarcerated there. A program called "Girl Scouts Beyond Bars" sponsors sleepovers every summer at three state prisons.

At the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor, the Visiting Room is transformed into Sleepover Headquarters for one night. It's the highlight of the year for inmates — and their daughters.

Esmerelda started attending the sleepovers when she was 12. She's 18 now. "If I didn’t have this quality time, I don’t know if I would have graduated high school." Her mom is serving a life sentence for murder.

The inmates who are allowed to host their daughters for the night must be in good standing at the prison.

Esmerelda says, "It's not just them who deserve the love. We’re still their kids and we still need that."

"Girls Scouts Beyond Bars" is funded by state grants. In addition to the sleepovers, the girls have monthly troop meetings at prisons around the state, including the men's facility in Monroe.

Read more from the Girl Scouts of Western Washington.

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