Every year after finishing his own prison sentence, Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson returned behind bars for Easter services, sharing the good news of Jesus’ resurrection with incarcerated men and women. Rather than celebrating in more comfortable surroundings with people of means and influence, Colson opted to worship in crowded prison gymnasiums surrounded by orange jumpsuits and ever-watchful prison guards.
The reason? Colson understood the impact the Gospel could have on men and women hungry for grace and forgiveness. But he also knew the impact those men and women could have in society.
“My father understood that if we want to change the world, we must start behind bars,” Colson’s son, Chris, says in an opinion piece for Fox News.
“Prisoners might seem like improbable standard bearers for cultural transformation,” Colson continues, “but my dad believed wholeheartedly that whenever prisoners are transformed, they will transform the culture of their prisons and society at large.”
When prison officials, departments of correction, and faith-based organizations work together to create a restorative culture, lives are changed. And for the 600,000 prisoners that return to their communities every year, there are new opportunities to right past wrongs and to be positive agents for change.
Through acts of advocacy designed to make the corrections system more just and more efficient; by supporting and building up families affected by incarceration through Angel Tree; or working inside the prisons to provide men and women with the tools to succeed after release, Prison Fellowship is working to bring about this transformation. To learn more about how you can contribute to bringing about meaningful change to our prisons and our communities, click here.