A Boy Scouts of America Scout Troop Is Being Sponsored by the State of Kentucky Prison System!
State Government Should NOT Be Sponsoring A Discriminatory Youth Program, the BSA.
LA GRANGE, Ky. - Robert Jackson stood with the two dozen other members of Boy Scout Troop 825, raised his right
hand in the traditional Boy Scout sign, and took the oath to do his best for God and country.
Unlike other scouts, Jackson and the other members of his troop aren't allowed to earn merit badges through mastering
camping and other outdoor skills.
That's because they are prison inmates.
"We're trying to teach more long-term planning, how to live when they get out," said Mike Pitzer, who
serves as adviser and scout master to the troop at the Kentucky State Reformatory.
The inmates are part of a rehabilitation program for emotionally and mentally disturbed prisoners serving time
for everything from murder to sex crimes.
Becoming a member of Troop 825 isn't easy. Inmates must have a mental or emotional problem that renders their mental
age at 18 or lower - the Boy Scouts require scouts to be under age 18 - stay clear of disciplinary
violations, have or work toward a high school degree and be willing to follow the rules of the club.
The Boy Scouts sanction the use of their name, logo and methods, so long as the inmates do not have any association
with the scouts upon their release, Pitzer said.
Brandi Mantz, a spokeswoman for the National Council of Boy Scouts in Irving, Texas, said the prison program has
been successful in the past decade. ...