“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
– Matthew 25:36
Donating your old clothing or volunteering in a hospital seems much easier than going to visit “criminals.” Prisoners may be innocent, they may have stolen bread from a store, or they may have taken someone’s life. Regardless of the severity of one’s crime, we should follow Jesus’ example of forgiveness and compassion by reaching out to the imprisoned. People are truly so much more than the worst thing they’ve ever done.
Peaceprints Prison Ministries reach out to prisoners in a variety of ways. Consider volunteering to help facilitate support groups, work in transitional housing, and more!
According to Peaceprints:
– 60,000 men and women are incarcerated in New York State Prisons.
– Erie County sees over 1200 individuals released to its communities annually.
– Our region has traditionally had one of the highest rates of recidivism in the State.
– Each person who successfully establishes an independent lifestyle and stays free of crime saves society approximately $45,000 per year in prison costs.
Click here for more information on how to get involved with Peaceprints Prison Ministries.
Another way to reach out to the imprisoned is by participating in the Death Row Support Project and being the Pen Pal of an inmate on death row.
“A person confined to death row often spends up to 23 hours each day alone in a small cell—for years and sometimes decades. Most are not allowed to work and many live in poverty and receive no visits, mail or support from the outside world. The isolation can be crippling.”
– Church of the Brethren
Click here for more information on how to become a Pen Pal with a death row inmate.