MAP: Arizona State Prison Complex - Perryville
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Arizona’s Perryville women’s prison in Goodyear is offering inmates an extraordinary experience.
Once a month volunteers shuttle a handful of the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council’s Girl Scouts to the prison to visit with their mothers.
Hailee Nance, 8, looks forward to the trip every month.
Nance was just 5 when she started visiting her mom, Estelle Streich, inside Perryville.
“I really didn't want to leave her. I really wanted to stay,” Hailee said.
Streich is locked up for trafficking stolen property.
“This time in here has really shown me the error of my ways and what I need to do different in my life,” she said.
The bonding experience between inmates and their children is made possible through the prison and the Girl Scouts.
This year the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program received a $114,000 grant.
“With our program they get to see their moms once a month and without our program they would have to wait six months to a year to see them," explained Girl Scouts spokeswoman Sam Sanchez-Perez. "They get to kiss them and share what's happened at school.”
Time moves slow behind prison walls, but not on visit days.
By the time moms have done what moms do, run their hands through their daughter's hair and play patty cake, the day is almost done.
Hailee walked into Perryville years ago as a toddler and left for her last time a young lady wearing shoes with a little heel.
“I missed a big part of her life, but I’m looking forward to being back in her life every day,” Streich said.
Streich will finish her sentence on Dec. 28.