Prison Fellowship®'s 2017 Annual Report is available to read on our website, and what a year it was! New opportunities and partnerships have allowed us to expand and innovate our core ministry areas, from programs that disciple and transform prisoners to ones that strengthen their families and improve the justice system.
This forward momentum and activity are directly in line with our mission—the same mission God gave Chuck Colson more than 40 years ago—to restore those affected by crime and incarceration.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
PRISON FELLOWSHIP'S 10-YEAR VISION
This growth is made possible thanks to the generous support of donors and God's grace. For the last three years, Prison Fellowship has maintained a budget surplus. Solid plans are in place to increase funding to keep pace with the continued progress of our programs.
Our 40 to Fifty Campaign is a bold, 10-year plan aimed at establishing 172 Prison Fellowship Academies by the year 2026. Prison Fellowship Academies take men and women through a holistic life transformation spanning weeks or months, where they are mentored by Prison Fellowship staff and volunteers to lead lives of purpose and productivity inside and outside of prison.
In Nebraska, two new Academies have opened, and additional Academies have been approved for California, Oklahoma, and Virginia. A new partnership with Celebrate Recovery will bring their Christ-centered, 12-step program into the Academies to help incarcerated men and women in their restoration journey.
SUPPORTING SECOND CHANCES
In April 2017, Prison Fellowship declared April "Second Chance Month," supported by the United States Senate. The Senate unanimously passed a resolution encouraging the nation to observe Second Chance Month by giving closure to people who have paid their debt to society.
A few months later, Prison Fellowship launched the Justice Declaration with key partners from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the Charles Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and the National Association of Evangelicals. Close to 100 prominent Christian leaders signed the Declaration. Since then, approximately 2,500 Christians have signed.
A copy of the Justice Declaration was presented to Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Charles Grassley, and other lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
REMEMBERING THE CHILDREN
Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree® program has continued to thrive. Angel Tree serve incarcerated parents by giving them a pathway to restore and strengthen relationships with their children and families. In December 2016, Angel Tree partnered with Zondervan to offer each Angel Tree household a free Adventure Bible.
At Angel Tree camps across the country, children make friends with others who share their struggles, and draw close to Christ while experiencing the great outdoors. In 2017, Angel Tree set a goal to send twice as many children to camp.
The Angel Tree Sports Clinics have also flourished, as 450 children attended football clinics in California and Florida, and 50 girls came together for a cheerleading camp in San Diego. In November 2017, Olympian JoJo Starbuck and others hosted an Angel Tree ice skating event in New York City's Central Park.