A prisoner I’ll call Jared is getting ready to be one of the first graduates of a new Prison Fellowship pre-release unit. This is his third time behind bars. He has spent most of his life as a drug dealer and a petty thief, governed by that troublesome four-letter word: self. Jared admits that he […]
Hank Green, half of the of the popular “Vlogbrothers” video blog team, was recently asked by a viewer, “If you could do a high-quality animated video about any issue in the world, what would you choose?” Green’s response? “I went with incarceration in America, because it is messed up.” Cue the video.
What advice would you give to a younger you? If you could give yourself a warning, or point a juvenile version of you in a particular direction, what would you say? Would it make a difference? The question became painfully real to Trent Bell, an architectural photographer in Maine, when a longtime family friend was […]
One of the cruelest facts in criminal justice is that more than 40 percent of ex-prisoners end up being sent back to prison within three years of their release. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right guidance before and after they complete their sentences, former prisoners like Duane can build successful lives on the outside.
In this special Easter edition of the Frontlines video series, Prison Fellowship Ministries President and CEO Jim Liske recounts his recent visit to teach at a church where an inmate choir led the congregation in worship, sharing a beautiful picture of the unity of God’s Kingdom inside and outside prison walls. Hear how lives and […]
It was like a prison from a Hollywood film set: thick limestone walls pocked with small windows; dark, oppressive cells; and narrow corridors full of musty, unmoving air … As I passed through many layers of security and entered the cell block, I could feel the oppression of hopelessness surrounding me. But in the heart […]
Unemployment rates for ex-prisoners like Cassandra and Christopher is usually about 60-75 percent. One study found that job applicants with a criminal background were 50 percent less likely to be called back or offered a position than applicants without a criminal history. But in states and counties where the box has been banned, these statistics are different. In Minneapolis, after the state of Minnesota passed the ban-the-box ordinance in 2007, the number of ex-prisoners who were able to gain employment moved from six percent up to 60 percent.
It wasn’t long before Chris found himself snowballing into an eight-year lie that would land him on the other side of the prison bars and, at the same time, propel him into a journey toward spiritual freedom.
The son of some dear friends of mine died recently, and they asked me to speak at the service honoring his life. In nearly three decades as a pastor, I was called upon many times to offer words of hope and consolation to families and friends who were grieving. Each situation of grief is unique, […]