During our Board meetings over the last few years our conversations kept coming back to how we can develop services for people returning home from incarceration. We are now cultivating the land for planting
another exciting seed. One we hope to see grow and blossom throughout the State.
There is one common string that keeps people on parole and on probation out of jail. A community. This is where Freedom in Christ is shifting focus, it is working on the inside to transform lives, but what are we doing on the outside?
Most returning citizens need community, a community of hope, of love, of grace, and yes, a community of second chances. This is what many of our congregations have. Simply put, you are a community that can invite the returning citizen into community with us. The data shows that recidivism –those who reoffend and reenter prison— drop drastically for those who are involved in a religious community.
The goal of the program is to build a community between the returning citizen and the community they will return to. The community will consist of churches, organizations, and people throughout the local community working together with the returning citizen to help him or her through the hardships they face returning to society. This is an ecumenical endeavor involving the WHOLE community with the collaboration of our ELCA congregations, and it’s not just going to be available to the men at Montana State Prison, but for anyone within the carceral system returning home.
We are excited about the prospects this program can provide to help reduce recidivism and provide support for our brothers and sisters returning home. We are looking forward to you joining us and helping to cultivate and see the seed grow into a vibrant and healthy vine blossoming throughout the communities!
Cellblock to Community is a way to reduce recidivism by helping the returning citizen integrate positively and successfully back into communities, increase their self-esteem, and surround them with a helping hand. Please ioin us!
Pastor Marlow is calling and scheduling presentations to our congregations, and we are asking them to invite others in their community who could join us in this endeavor to attend as well. We welcome you to call and schedule your presentation! Dates are filling fast!!!