“[The] vast prison-industrial complex has succeeded in reducing crime but is a blunt instrument,” National Review columnist Rich Lowry writes in a recent online article. “Prison stays often constitute a graduate seminar in crime, and at the very least, the system does a poor job preparing prisoners to return to the real world.”
Over 50 percent of prisoners currently suffer from substance abuse addiction, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Another 20 percent either have histories of substance abuse, were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time they committed their crimes, or committed their offenses to get money to buy drugs.
Jeffery Hopper has a picture of himself and his daughter, Amanda, sitting on the couch when she was just a little girl.
“She adored me. I was her world,” Jeffery remembers. “I destroyed it by going to prison.”“We’ll All Go Down Together”
Jeffery grew up in Port Neches, Texas, where he adopted a criminal lifestyle early on.
Peter Wiser clearly remembers the night God called out to him. Everything went quiet, and the traffic became invisible. At 35 years old, he cried out to God in his grandmother’s backyard saying, “I know You’re real. If You hear me I need Your help.
As we enter a new fiscal year, we look back on one of the biggest moments of 2013 – God’s miraculous work behind bars at Easter!
Over Easter weekend, Prison Fellowship CEO Jim Liske and Prison Fellowship President Garland Hunt shared the Gospel with prisoners in Florida and Texas.
Prison Fellowship is pleased to announce the expansion of its “Prisoners to Pastors” program to the Cristina Melton Crain Prison in Gatesville, Texas. Forty inmates will be participating in the program, which provides seminary-level education and training in prisons.
Facilitated by Prison Fellowship volunteers and in cooperation with The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) of World Impact, the Prisoners to Pastors program offers former lawbreakers the chance to become leaders of the Church behind bars and after they return to the community.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.
The words are, no doubt, familiar to many of us who learned to sing the hymn “Amazing Grace” at a young age.
Joe Bruton knows how to welcome prisoners back into society. He has walked that road himself – twice. But his two experiences could not have looked more different. The first led to total failure, and the second to a whole new life.
No rational parent would toss the car keys to a teenager who has never driven before and expect him to drive through traffic without causing casualties. Likewise, pushing prisoners back into our communities without the right preparation and resources and expecting them to stay out of trouble is foolhardy.
What makes people so passionate about helping prisoner's children? How are they making a difference? A peek into the life of a volunteer from Texas provides some answers.
Stephanie Byrd, 35, of Ft. Worth, Texas, first got involved in Angel Tree® when she was a high school senior.