SHE IS MORE THAN A NUMBER
Every woman in a cell is more than just a statistic or a prison ID number. She is unique. She is significant. She is someone.
–RENA, FORMER PRISONER
Women are the fastest-growing segment of the prison population, but their stories don’t often get heard. Prison Fellowship is dramatically expanding its ministry to women in prison. Sign up for straight-from-prison updates on how addiction, abuse, and despair are being replaced with hope and purpose.
"A lot of them have scars from [alcohol-related] car wrecks or fights. Lots have tattoos or heroin tracks on their forearms … Many have traumatic and abusive pasts that they need to share."
– JANET, PRISON FELLOWSHIP VOLUNTEER
"My second time in prison was different than my first, because of Prison Fellowship. .… I needed that healing process, because I would use drugs to cover up the pain. [The program] gave me other ways to deal with it. Better ways, healthier ways that I never knew."
– ROXANNE, FORMER PRISONER
KELLIE’S STORY: BEAUTY FROM THE ASHES
Kellie Thimmes seemed to have the perfect life. But, she says, “I felt an emptiness deep inside and sought to fill the void with external things. I overshopped, overate, and overspent in general. Nothing worked. Nothing filled the void inside until the day I tried cocaine for the first time. It was then that I thought I had finally arrived. I finally felt like I fit in, and the drug made the empty feeling go away.”
Drugs pulled Kellie away from her family and onto the streets. She was robbed, assaulted, and beaten beyond recognition, and finally served three years in a Colorado prison. There, she found the Prison Fellowship Academy.
Kellie says, “I had to make a yearlong commitment to the Academy, waiving parole and community corrections, until I completed the program. It was the best decision I could have made. It was a game-changer for me and my walk with God. All the classes and time alone let me get to know myself, and find out who I truly was.”
Today Kellie is free, married, employed, and working toward a degree in psychology. She adds, “God does not waste pain, not even our self-inflicted pain. He will turn it around, and make beauty from the ashes we created in our own lives. … I am so much stronger than I have ever been. I am the woman God created me to be.”
WOMEN IN PRISON - THE SOBERING STATISTICS
Women in prison are often at the end of a long, difficult road—one that has made them feel rejected, worthless, and hopeless. Without resources to heal the hurts beneath their bad choices, many women stay stuck in a destructive cycle.
Since 1980 the number of women in U.S. prisons has increased by more than 700% and has outpaced men by more than 50%. (The Sentencing Project, 2015)
74% of the women in state prison used drugs regularly before incarceration. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006)
43% of women in prison have been physically abused, and 39% have been sexually abused. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006)
HELP LAUNCH THE MOVEMENT TO RESTORE WOMEN IN PRISON!
Women in prison need a voice. Let’s share their stories and expand their opportunities for transformation. Share on social media today with the hashtag #MoreThanANumber.