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Maryland Judiciary
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
2011-D Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
For Immediate Release

Angelita Plemmer

Media Advisory
Baltimore City Circuit Court Becomes Unlikely Art Gallery when
Girl Scouts with Mothers in Prison Display “Hopes and Dreams” Banners at Courthouse East

(BALTIMORE – Oct. 26, 2012) Baltimore’s Courthouse East will become an art gallery tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 27, when the court unveils a collection of banners created by Girl Scouts in Beyond Bars, a program for girls with mothers who are incarcerated.

Girl and adult members of Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s (GSCM) Beyond Bars troops 7140 and 7856 worked with community artist Hannah Brancato to create banners depicting their future goals and the possibility of change. The banners, collectively called “Our Hopes and Our Dreams for the Future,” will be unveiled at the Baltimore City Circuit Court during a dedication ceremony at 11a.m.

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Marcella A. Holland, circuit administrative judge and chair of the Judiciary’s Conference of Circuit Judges, will be joined by Brancato and Traci Barnett, CEO, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, to open the exhibit and talk about the project and the impact of the nationally acclaimed Beyond Bars program. Several Girl Scout troop members and their families will also attend the event.

The first Beyond Bars program in the nation began as a pilot in Baltimore in 1992. Retired Baltimore City Circuit Judges Carol E. Smith, Ellen M. Heller and Kathleen O'Ferrall Friedman were active advocates for the program during its founding. The program is a partnership of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, the Maryland Department of Corrections, and the National Institute of Justice. Since 1992, Beyond Bars troops have flourished in Baltimore and the program has expanded to several other states.

The GSCM Beyond Bars provides support and encouragement to girls who are often overlooked, Judge Holland said. Barnett explains that, in addition to serving as a means for girls to maintain a positive and meaningful relationship with their mothers, the program helps to reduce the trauma that girls may experience from having an incarcerated parent, unites girls who are dealing with this difficult issue in a non-judgmental, safe, and caring forum, and builds girls’ self-esteem while encouraging them to achieve their hopes and dreams. Beyond Bars has been featured on national and syndicated programs, and has been recognized by the National Institute of Justice, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Maryland Criminal Justice Association.

The banners will be on display in Courthouse East for several weeks.

WHAT: “Our Hopes and Our Dreams for the Future” banner-art exhibition unveiling
WHEN Saturday, Oct. 27, 11-11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Baltimore City Circuit Court
Courthouse East, 2nd Floor Lobby
111 N. Calvert St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
WHO Baltimore City Circuit Judge Marcella Holland will preside, with Traci Barnett, CEO, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, and local artist Hannah Brancato. Several members of Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s (GSCM) Beyond Bars troops 7140 and 7856 and their families will be attending.
MEDIA: Members of the media are invited to attend the dedication ceremony. Media can film and take photos only in the area where the ceremony will take place. The use of cameras must be approved in advance, and all persons being photographed or recorded must give their consent. If you wish to attend, please call Judge Holland’s chambers, 410-396-3836, by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, or Courthouse East security, 410-396-1152, on Saturday morning before the event.

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