“I paid my debt to society. I paid my restitution. I stayed out of trouble. Why is my criminal history always going to be at the forefront of who I am? It doesn’t define who I am anymore. To be brutally honest that bothers me, and hurts me, and worries me, but I can’t crumble.
“Hey babe! We’re releasing an inmate,” the prison warden spoke into his phone. “He’s coming to our town. No, he’s not safe at all … [We don’t let him] out for programs. He’s too dangerous, he might assault somebody. Anyway, he’s paroling to our city.
When Merle Haggard passed away last week on his 79th birthday, country music lost one of its best storytellers.
For decades, Haggard built his legacy as a rough-and-tumble country outlaw, telling stories of his own troubled past, which involved repeated stints in both reform schools and, later, in prison.
Over 3,000 prisoners at the Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California, joined with Prison Fellowship staff and volunteers in celebrating Jesus’ victory over death on Easter weekend. Musicians, a comedian, and other performers entertained those assembled in the prison yard, while Pastor Tim Rolen shared the Good News of forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
By the time he was 19, Jeff Henderson had established himself as one of the premier drug dealers in southern California. He was making $35,000 a week by age 21—driving fancy cars and living the life of a street celebrity.
But all that came to an end at 24, when he was sentenced to 19.5
Children who have at least one parent behind bars face many challenges that their friends and classmates do not. Studies indicate that they are more likely to have attention deficit disorder, behavioral problems, or developmental delay. Those with a mother in prison graduate from college at only a 1-2 percent rate—a percentage that improves to 13-25 percent when the incarcerated parent is the father.
A San Francisco apparel company is seeking to provide women who have spent time behind bars an opportunity to begin new careers in the fashion industry.
Named after the road leading out of the Central California Women's Correctional Facility in Chowchilla, Road Twenty-Two designs and manufactures high-end shirts for men and women.
Only days before the scheduled evangelistic event, a correctional officer on the yard scheduled for the event had one request for Dave Dove, Prison Fellowship Area Director in California, “Can we please not do this event?”
According to Dove, this maximum security prison in California has one of the most active gang cultures of any prison in the state.
As the wildfires raging through much of California continue to stretch the abilities and resources of professional firefighters, assistance is coming from an unexpected source—men in the California corrections system.
Nearly 4,000 prisoners have joined forces with roughly 6,000 firefighting professionals in an attempt to tame the fires that have burned 117,960 acres so far, and threaten thousands of homes and businesses.
For the last 14 years, there have been no yard events at Salinas Valley State Prison in California. Previous activities at the facility had resulted in violent acts, including a stabbing near the performance stage, and convinced prison officials to forgo any such programming for the safety of both performers and prisoners.