When a prisoner is locked up, the world he leaves behind does not stand still. Nor does his family. During the prisoner’s absence, roles shift, children grow, and emotional and financial hardships are endured. Even when the sentence ends, the prisoner and his family can never go back to the status quo that existed before prison, no matter how much they would like to.
The Wall Street Journal has published a review of Byron Johnson’s new book, More God, Less Crime. Johnson complied and considered a variety of studies “that measured the possible effect of religion on crime.” The list was long (273 studies).
If you’re new to prison ministry or have a loved one doing time, where do you turn? The average bookstore lacks a shelf devoted to “prison issues.” That’s why BreakPoint and The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview have added a new section to their online bookstore, chockfull of resources devoted to the concerns of prison ministers and prisoners’ families.
We know that to develop into the best we can be—from sports to the arts to business to the military to academics—we must embrace discipline. Except perhaps for prodigies, there is no other way.
But when it comes to our spiritual development, discipline suddenly sounds like a dirty word.
Periodically Frontlines will feature a book recommended by Prison Fellowship staff as a resource for your ministry to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. In this issue we highlight TrueFaced, written by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, and John Lynch.
Most of us have an assortment of masks we put on when we feel the need to hide our real selves.
Learn about prison culture from those who have been there.Reads Born Again (1976), Chuck Colson How former Watergate crook found Christ and founded Prison Fellowship.
From Addict to Disciple (2005), David Hain A short book about shaking addiction God’s way.
Inside the Miami Drug Cartel (1996), Manuel Baerga Manuel’s compelling autobiography of his transformation from drug lord to leader in the Kingdom of God.
Lessons from San Quentin (2009), Bill Dallas Bill Dallas burst into the San Francisco real estate business in the mid-eighties, ready to rack up fame and fortune for himself.
Most of the men and women behind bars have a history of drug or alcohol abuse. This means that the family members they left behind—and will likely return to—have also been hammered by their loved one’s addiction. If you minister to prisoners’ families, here’s an outstanding resource to help them in their own recovery as they seek to help their loved one.
Ken Cooper’s dramatic life story will not break new ground for the genre of second-chance transformation stories. It is a well-told account of a fascinating life. But this autobiography does do something other books have not—help pry us away from some societal views that have held people’s minds hostage concerning causes for crime and their ultimate solution.