Correctional facilities depend on volunteers!
Volunteers can help inmates in their desire to become productive members of society. Inmates who receive religious training in prison are far less likely to return to prison. Recidivism drops by 60% for those who receive spiritual support and education.
Volunteers “are the branches and He is the vine…” they can often influence inmates in ways correctional employees can’t. Volunteers can help the inmate change this behavior by being positive role models.
As we call upon the Lord to help us in our ministry, we learn that by allowing the Holy Spirit to work though us, the incarcerated we serve see the miracle of Faith and “the light within each of us which must shine before all so that they may see the goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father” (Mt 5:14-16) Effective volunteers need to be able to see beyond the crime to the basic value of the individual as a child of God, and believe in a person’s ability to change, while realizing that a lifetime of dysfunction does not change.
Working in an environment where freedom is restrained is challenging, but also rewarding! The hunger for God’s Word is evident. The work of the prison ministry volunteer is to help spread the Good News of Jesus Christ; His forgiveness and promise of salvation and above all, His love. Volunteers are in a unique position to offer, through the witness of their lives, their gifts of time, talent and service, Christ’s redeeming promise and presence among us.