Church work with prisoners

Children of God in Prison Exile

Author
Tami F Hooker D.Min.
Abstract
Incarcerated men often feel abandoned by God. Those feelings of abandonment result in their avoiding the church even if they have been raised in it, in religion shopping or choosing their own understanding of and way of relating to the divine over any religion, and in overt religiosity, Implications of this are that the men no longer identify themselves as children of God as defined by the Christian faith. For some, it means they have no relationship with God or with the Church as a whole or the congregation within prison walls. This work takes a look at prison as exile and exile as trauma using the exile and the trauma that resulted from it as described in the Hebrew Scriptures for comparison. The intervention is a Bible study based on narrative theology that inmates from a state prison created and that I facilitated and evaluated in a county jail. The study is titled "Where was God?" It was created so men could hear stories similar to their own and recognize that those telling them are aware that God had been present in their stories and also explore where similar stories had occurred in Scripture. The authors chose ten topics to explore. They were: where was God when I was hurt, felt alone, felt ashamed, was afraid, was pretending, felt invisible, felt un-forgiven and was unforgiving, felt desperate and in despair. It concludes by asking where was God when I felt hope and when I felt love. The hope was that this would help the participants to see their own stories as part of a divine narrative, which would lead them to build a more authentic relationship to God and healthier relationships with others.

Triple P (Prayer, Praise, and Perseverance) : building spiritual resiliency with prisoners incarcerated at USACA-E

Author
Myron C. Byles
Abstract
"Service members in the United States Armed Services are praised and honored by the nation. On the contrary, service members lose the respect of the nation when sentenced to the correctional facility (USACA-E) in Sembach, Germany. Most of these service members lose all of their medical, educational, and financial benefits from the United States government. It does not matter how many deployments or years the service members have devoted to the country. Their criminal acts can override any successes of their past. The prisoners at USACA-E benefit from the 6-weeks Triple P program. Triple P assist prisoners with skills to become spiritually resilient during their incarceration. The program offers hope to prisoners in seemingly hopeless situations." -- Leaf [2].

Incarcerated lives matter : equipping the Black Church to respond to the mass incarceration of African American males

Author
Leon D. Parker
Abstract
What kind of tools would enable African American congregations to engage more effectively in their response to the crisis of mass incarceration of African American males? The author conducted interviews with pastors and ministry leaders engaged in prison ministry. Based on the author's years of experience as a Chaplain and on data generated by the interviews, the author developed a four-part workshop training.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Empowering churches to assist certain ex-offenders through the expungements of criminal records

Author
Leslie Evette Moody
Abstract
This project focused on how the local church can be empowered to assist ex-offenders in filing a petition for expungement. The author attempted to engage four churches in two communities to become trained to begin establishing churches with the necessary tools to help their congregations and communities. This project concluded that it is possible for any church with proper training and guidance to be empowered to assist ex-offenders in filing a petition for expungement.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

A Project to Discover the Need for a Prison Ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH

Author
Vernell Lumbus-Young
Abstract
A Project to Discover the Need for a Prison Ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH :
The purpose of this project was to discover the need for a prison ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. In order to determine the need for a prison ministry, a five-point Likert scale questionnaire survey was designed along with one to two open ended questions. The results of the survey revealed that there was a great interest among the congregants for a prison ministry. In the final results of my questionnaire survey and open ended questions, almost all respondents revealed that there is a need for a prison ministry. I concluded that there was a 95% interest in the need for a prison ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church.

Developing a Divorce Recovery Curriculum for Incarcerated Men

Author
Thomas C Douglas
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to research divorce recovery for incarcerated men at the Federal Prison Camp, Montgomery, Alabama. Statistics tell us that the vast majority of incarcerated men will be divorced either while they are in prison, or within the first year after their release. The marital issues inmates face often are the same mindset that led to theri criminal thinking and ultimate incarceration. Thus, if the project director can assist the men in divorce recovery, he can also assist them in becoming productive members of society who are equipped to live healthy lives. The project director's ultimate goal is to produce a curriculum to lead incarcerated men to divorce recovery.

A project to discover attributes on incarnation at the Bethel Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida

Author
Tyree Anderson
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to discover the attitudes of members concerning incarceration at the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida. The design of the project included three sections to identify the demographics of the participants; a five-point Ligert scale to capture the attitudes of the participants on the subject matter; and an evaluation of the study. The results of this study revealed that the participants that a ministry to the incarcerated. However, the study also revealed that some resistance exists in regards to providing time and financial support for a ministry to those incarcerated.

Equipping selected inmate religious assistants at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Parchman, Mississippi, in pastoral ministry skills

Author
Allen B Silk
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected inmate religious assistants at the Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP), Parchman, Mississippi, in pastoral ministry skills. The workship schedule consisted of nine sessions held on Thursdays with approval by the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) and the administration of MSP. The selected group consisted of thirteen IRAs, and each session lasted approximately two hours. The project director addressed the following pastoral issues: pastoral ministry skills, comfort and caring skills, anger management skills (two sessions), counseling skills, interpersonal relationship skills, listening skills, and suicide prevention skills before closing the workship with a final summary session. The project goals were to research the field of pastoral ministry skills, to develop teaching sessions to equip selected IRAs in pastoral minisrty skills, and to equip selected inmate religious assistants (IRAs) in pastoral ministry skills. The professional goals were to increase the project director's knowledge of and expertise in pastoral ministry skills and to increase the project director's skill in instructional theory and practice.

The criminal, the alien, and the church: mass incarceration and immigrant criminalization from a Catholic perspective

Author
Charles W Bergman
Abstract
The author argues that patterns of harsh punishment and exclusion of immigrants and criminal offenders in the contemporary US reflects a racialized notion of membership in which communities of color are suspect. He examines the response of the US Catholic bishops through representatives documents and makes recommendations for stronger analytical and pastoral strategies to confront this crisis. The way forward for the church, the author suggests, lies in encouraging the participation and empowerment of affected persons and communities.

Spiritual freedom: a multi-faith resource in spiritual formation for inmates

Author
Roland E Gonia
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to investigate and create the formation and sustainability of a healthy, spiritual life for inmates of different faiths while serving a prison sentence and preparing to leave incarceration. This project is intended to benefit prisoners and prison staffs as a resource from multi-faith spiritual formation. This project is being conducted under the auspices of Columbia Theological Seminary and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
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