A Case For Adventist Involvement In Prison Ministry By J. Alfred Johnson II, Director North American Division Adult Ministries
Discussion Path: • General Inmate Statistics • Prison Statistics In N. Pacific Union • Adventist Inmates In Pacific Union • What Leaders Can Do To Encourage Members To Get Involved • What NAD Adult Ministries Is Doing To Support Prison Volunteers
US Had 2.3 Mil. Federal, State, Jail Inmates At Close Of 2007 7 Million Under Correctional Supervision 31,000 Inmates In Canada 8.5 Million Inmates Worldwide USA Has Largest Prison Population Worldwide California Has More Inmates Than Six Nations General Inmate Statistics
Hope With The Statistics! • About 78% Of Inmates Recidivate (Return After Having Been Released) • The Recidivism Rate For Adventist Trained Inmates Is Vastly Different! • Only .008 Adventist Trained Former Inmates Recidivate WHO GET INVOLVED IN ACTIVE MINISTRY IN AN S.D.A. CHURCH UPON RELEASE!
State of Idaho Statistics • 20,000 Under Correctional Supervision • 7,347 Inmates • 36 – Average age of Inmates • $21,000 – Yearly cost of Incarceration
State of Montana Statistics • 12,764 Under Correctional Supervision • 2,157 Inmates • $30,000 – Yearly cost of Incarceration
State of Washington Statistics • 15,535 – Inmates • 15 Facilities • 36.7 – Average Inmate Age • $20-50,000 – Annual Cost of Incarceration
State of Oregon Statistics • 13,405 Inmates • 14 Facilities • $30,000 – Annual Cost of Incarceration
State of Alaska Statistics • 5,500 Inmates • 15 Facilities • Average Term – 21 Months
1,000 Seventh-day Adventists WERE INCARCERATED IN THE PACIFIC UNION As Of 3rd Quarter Of 2005 How Many In Your Union?
WHAT CAN LEADERS DO… To Assist Members In Understanding The Need To Get Involved
Must First Realize That Prison Ministry Is A Necessary, Equal And Viable Component Of Christian Ministry Must Show That Prison Ministry Was The Last Ministerial Function Performed By Jesus Before His Death – THUS UNDERSCORING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS MINISTRY! Leaders:
Leaders Must: • Do Away With Any Floating Notion That Prison Ministry Is A Defunct Or Secondary Ministry
Leaders Can Advance A Diversified Approach By: • Showing That Doing Prison Ministry DOES NOT Require Going Behind The “Walls” – As Many Are Intimidated By The Thought Of Going “Inside”
Literature Donation Prayer Bands Support Groups For Inmate Families Toiletry Ministry (Assembling Care Packages For Prisons) Clothing Ministry Van Ministry – Transporting Inmate Families Once Per Month For Visits Pen Pal Ministries Children’s Ministries Transitional Houses Youth Shelters Vehicles Of Diversification May Include:
Members Can Be Encouraged: • With The Power Of Matthew 25:35-40, And The Relevance Of Ministry To “The Least Of These” -- As A Motivation To Support This Important Ministry
Members Are To Be Educated: • Regarding Their Responsibility To Accept “The Fruit” Produced In The “Prison Vineyard” • To Give People A Fair Chance! • To Understand That No “Middle Wall Of Partition” Should Be Erected To Disenfranchise Any Of Our Lord’s “11th Hour” Additions To His Family!
Members Must Be Reminded: • That Many Inmates Are Children Of God Who Have Made Some Bad Choices…. • That Many Inmates Are Not Guilty…. • Often The Diff. Is – They Got Caught! • That Christ’s Atoning Blood Has Power To Transform Our, As Well As Their, Present Conditions Into Godlikeness!
Support Services Of NAD Adult Ministries… • Prison Ministry Handbook and Other Resources Available Through AdventSource • Inmate Spiritual Counseling – 17 Course Curriculum Available (Soon) through AdventSource • Professional Consultation And Training • The Adult Ministries Volunteer Network – Monthly eSupport Direct To Volunteers • New NAD Spanish and EnglishTranslation of the “Prison Ministry Basic Training Handbook”
While Calling On Others… LET’S REMEMBER TO NOT PASS THEM BY! God Bless You