MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

Dane County deputies know it's never easy for children to visit their parents in jail -- especially around Christmas.

So all kids who visited the jail around Christmas Eve received a new book and a stuffed animal.

A WMTV-TV report says it's part of the sheriff department's "Books and Bears" program. The intention is to give kids a positive interaction with officers, while also brightening the holidays for families going through a difficult time.

Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Conners says some children find jail visits scary. He says the gifts help make the situation more comfortable for them.

The program is funded through community donations.