In June, six women graduated from Prison Fellowship’s InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI), an intensive faith-based program, at Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee. One of the graduates shared how participating in the program has changed her entire perspective:
“Before coming to IFI, I was a self-centered, egocentric, selfish woman. I didn’t want to know other women and I truly believed I was better than anyone else. I knew something needed to change though for my actions thus far landed me in prison. PRISON! It took some time for that to sink in. So, there I was, I had an interview and was accepted into IFI. A place where I could change. An actual change and become a better person.
“Learning how to set healthy boundaries was huge for me because I never knew how to say ‘no’ and I pushed others’ boundaries. Developing a discerning heart was the first real step for me. That’s when my heart started to soften, where I started tearing my walls down and trusting people. …
“… I’m grateful I came to Shakopee. God has gotten ahold of me and changed me for the better. I’m a graduate of the program, and while working in general population, I am able to use the tools I learned in IFI.
“Prison might be a time of separation from my family, but it’s a time of preparation—for my future with them. I’m not sure where my life is headed … I do know I will succeed at whatever I set my mind to. I want to get involved in suicide prevention. Through the changes I’ve made, I want to be the difference in my family’s ripple [effect]. I won’t be driven by my passions and I don’t have time to maintain my regrets. I know who I am these days. I’m not that lost woman anymore. I am a redeemed woman of God.”