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A Proposal To Turn Inmates Away From A Life Of Crime

-by Garry Sims

The people going in to minister in the local prison could form a bridge between the inmate world and the free world. They could personally oversee the changes in the inmate as he progresses through his time and involvement in their programs and could be there for him when he is released. Instead of a suspicious ex-con just released from prison hundreds of miles away, he would be the friend that you were visiting just last week and whom you are ready to help. 

Under these more favorable conditions, I believe more Christians would be willing to volunteer for programs in prisons and more churches would be in a position to help these young Christians as they return to society. The walls of suspicion come tumbling down when the citizens realize that inmates are being assisted by local people. The more workers from churches involved in prison or jail evangelism and discipleship the greater the opportunity for success of those newly released inmates. Can you imagine the difference for an inmate who knows that upon his release date, he is graduating from the inside discipleship program to the watchcare of a local assembly of believers who love him and pledge their support. 

Yes, there are other problems within the system that have not been addressed here, but this idea would go a long way toward improving the situation. If we could have a system where only 25 percent of the inmates return to crime, one-third the current number, it would go a long way toward reducing crime and the heavy burden that prisons have become to our nation. That also would free up resources to be concentrated upon that remaining 25 percent. 

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