A Message from Prison Fellowship President and CEO, James J. Ackerman
Prison Fellowship® has been serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families for more than 40 years. Our vision is to see all those affected by crime and incarceration restored to God, to their families, and to their communities. While the current public health situation will temporarily affect some of our programs, our commitment to that vision is unwavering. We will continue to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ into prisons however we can, advocate for a more restorative criminal justice system, support second chances, and work to support and strengthen families with a parent in prison.
COVID-19 IMPACT ON PRISONS BY STATE
Correctional agencies report 2,703 active COVID-19 cases in state and federal prisons. Use the interactive map below to learn how COVID-19 has impacted men and women in your state’s prisons.
*Updated 06/11/21. Please check with the relevant agency for latest statistics.
The data within this map is based on total volume rather than per capita or percentages to reflect the reporting method used by corrections agencies.
In 2020, states used a variety of mechanisms and authorities to release individuals from prisons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. States are now distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to combat the pandemic, in the community and in prisons. Prison Fellowship has created a resource to track the plans for vaccination of those who are incarcerated and correctional staff in prisons. To explore and share this resource, click here.
Please submit any questions or information regarding COVID-19 in prisons that are not reflected above to [email protected]
STORIES FROM THE PANDEMIC
While the COVID-19 pandemic may have shut down prisons, it couldn’t shut down the Good News of Jesus Christ. Current prisoners, returning citizens, their families, and others share about pandemic living when affected by crime and incarceration. Check out their stories below.
HOW COVID-19 AFFECTS PRISON FELLOWSHIP
Most Prison Fellowship programs are in state-run facilities. State departments of corrections are working closely with health authorities to make the best decisions for their facilities. Nearly all have decided to temporarily halt admission of outside visitors due to the virus' ability to spread quickly.
While this has affected the daily operations of our Prison Fellowship Academy, Academy participants are living out the program values in the face of this unprecedented crisis. Stepping more fully into roles of leadership and influence, they are continuing to lead Academy small groups, helping Chaplains provide programming, and lending a hand wherever needed. Additionally, our Academy staff continues to remain closely connected to participants, bringing in program assignments as well as messages of hope and encouragement while maintaining regular communication with our correctional partners.
That said, our field staff are continuing to work closely with our valued DOC partners and are actively cooperating with them on ways we can continue to serve them and the people under their care.
Many Prison Fellowship programs take place outside prisons and are not affected by prison closures:
IN-PRISON PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
ANGEL TREE AND FAMILY MINISTRY
REENTRY AND JUSTICE REFORM
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
QUESTION: My loved one is in a Prison Fellowship program. The DOC won't provide any information about how they are doing. Can you help me get information?
QUESTION: My loved one is sick with what I believe are COVID-19 symptoms. Can you help?
QUESTION: How can prisoners protect themselves from getting COVID-19? Should I donate face masks or hand sanitizer?
JOIN US IN PRAYER
Join with a community of prayer warriors across the country who are praying intentionally for men and women behind bars, their families, communities, and the many ongoing events and activities that affect their lives.
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