The purpose of this ministry is to bring the life transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are incarcerated in correctional facilities. This ministry is designed to fit seamlessly with the current chaplaincy program and should require no special concessions (other than a place to hold classes) from the correctional institution. It is our desire for this ministry to positively impact the lives of the incarcerated which will in turn improve the overall atmosphere in the correctional facility.
The ministry does not impose any special conditions on those who would participate in the classes. The classes are voluntary and open to the entire general population. It is our experience that those who choose to attend classes are more teachable and have a deeper commitment to change their lives than those who are required to participate. Therefore, the classes will always be offered on a strictly voluntary basis. Classes that will be offered include but are not limited to:
- Changing My Life: The Process
- Experiencing God
- Living A Moral Life
- Spiritual Discipleship
- Living as a Man/Woman of God in the Free World
- Learning to Handle Finances
- Being a Godly Parent
- Verse by verse study of various books of the Bible
- Marriage: Keeping it Real, God’s Way
- Overcoming Substance Abuse, God’s Way
- Authority: The Benefits of Submission versus the Cost of Rebellion
Class participants who exhibit a desire to learn through consistent class attendance may be invited to participate in the ministry’s mentoring program. An invitation will only be offered to those participants that consistently attend classes and complete required assignments. An invitation will only be offered to those participants who are approved by: Ministry Director, classroom instructors, Chaplain, and appropriate facility staff. These must all be in agreement before an invitation can be offered. Once the invitation has been offered, both the mentor and the mentoree will receive extensive training concerning the mentoring process. The mentor will be required to participate in a mentor support group made up of other mentors. Continued participation in the mentoring program will require continued class attendance and an acceptable institutional behavior record.
Those participants who maintain good standing in the mentoring program will be given the opportunity to be involved in the aftercare program upon release. The aftercare program will consist of:
- ongoing mentoring for a period of one year
- help in finding a supportive church
- help in finding appropriate housing
- help in obtaining gainful employment
All ministry staff and volunteers are committed to being in full compliance with all Department of Correction’s policies and regulations. While this ministry is distinctively Christ-centered and Bible-based it will in no way violate separation of Church/State statutes.
This ministry is designed to fit into existing chapel departments and will maintain a level of flexibility that many other programs do not have. It is also a ministry that can be incorporated into any willing correctional facility and has the potential of positively impacting many more lives than a traditional program. While the program is flexible it also maintains a structure that addresses many of the issues facing the incarcerated and gives them the knowledge, accountability, and support to successfully transition back into society.