Prison Fellowship® is the nation's largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, and a leading advocate for criminal justice reform. The organization was founded in 1976 by Charles Colson, a former aide to President Nixon who served a seven-month sentence for a Watergate-related crime. Today Prison Fellowship brings restoration to those affected by crime and incarceration nationwide by facilitating prisoners' transformation, supporting prisoners' families and returning citizens, and advocating for a criminal justice system that reflects the God-given dignity and potential of each life. Through an awakening to new hope and life purpose, those who once broke the law are transformed and mobilized to serve their community, replacing the cycle of crime with a cycle of renewal.
PRISON FELLOWSHIP®'S WORK IN PRISONS
For more than 40 years, Prison Fellowship has been going into correctional facilities, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those behind bars, and offering the hope of true transformation. Through the use of Bible-based programming, and with the help of thousands of committed volunteers, lives are being changed, hope is being restored, and darkness is being replaced with the promise of a future.
PRISON FELLOWSHIP'S ANGEL TREE®
Angel Tree® creates a pathway to reconciliation between incarcerated parents and their children and families. The bad choices that lead to a prison sentence, as well as the distance created by incarceration, can strain a prisoner's family ties to the breaking point. At Christmas, the emotional pain of a loved one's incarceration grows even more intense, and the financial hardship of a lost breadwinner can mean that there are no presents under the tree. Angel Tree gives incarcerated parents a way to provide a Christmas gift and a personal message, delivered by caring, local volunteers, as a tangible representation of their love. The church, which embodies the hope and grace of the Gospel message to prisoners' families, may continue to minister to the prisoner’s family throughout the year. Every Angel Tree parent's family is also given access to a free, easy-to-read copy of the Bible.
Warden Exchange™ is an innovative program of Prison Fellowship® that equips wardens to be transformative leaders in their facilities and in the wider corrections community. Through a revolutionary and highly interactive seven-month-long program that incorporates weekly live video conferences and three in-person residences, we convene wardens from across the country for intensive training in best practices from some of the brightest thought leaders in criminal justice, law, business, and education. Participants graduate from the program with individualized action plans to bring restorative change to their facilities and fulfill their legacy of building a safer, more rehabilitative prison culture.
PRISON FELLOWSHIP®'S ADVOCACY WORK
Prison Fellowship envisions a world where, in the wake of crime, the justice system helps bring about healing and wholeness for everyone affected. Those responsible for crime are held accountable through a fair system that values their human dignity and potential, and communities are mobilized to provide care for victims and restoration for those who have paid their debt to society. Prison Fellowship fights for criminal justice reforms that will bring this dream closer to reality.