Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Post: "Coming Back From Prison"

When a man gets out of prison,
it is unlikely there will be anyone ‘there’,
to pick them up, or receive them “back”.

The statistics vary from state to state,
but the result is the same...
these men have little support from loved ones,
and they must rely on their ‘Parole/Supervising’ officer
to connect them with any organizations which can help.

Some get into a veterans assistance program,
others go into chemical “rehabilitation”,
while a few find “mental-health” clinics.
But the vast majority end up in a county run “halfway” house.

Studies have shown that these men need more help to re-integrate.
There are some government-run ‘transition” programs,
but few last longer than 90-days,
and provide little more than a common “support-group”.
While this ‘mutual-support’ can help, our society needs more.
We need more if we truly want change to occur so they dont return to prison.

Does this issue matter to you?
It should.
Because criminals who cannot change or find work end up returning to prison.
But first, crime increases.
More laws are set in place.
Government expenses increase.
Then taxes for everyone increases.
Or rather, we lose money in the other places we really want it.
Schools lose. Our children lose. Our country loses.
And the future is more uncertain for many who have little to live on already.
Fear abounds. Satan wins. And ‘things’ continue to get worse.

If we are to make a difference, where do we start??
Nationally, Prison Fellowship will meet the incarcerated,
starting where they are now, behind bars.
Afterwards, the local communities step in.
In many US cities, Delancey Street brings ex-offenders together,
providing one-of-a-kind mutual support while working in society.
In my home of Portland, M25 Ventures provides another idea,
teaching new life skills for business success & entrepreneurship.

How can you help personally?
Find a local church involved in Prison Ministries,
then invest by tutoring, teaching, and coaching.
Tutor those who need to pass their GED exams.
Take the opportunity to teach men about Christ.
Coach men who need to learn personal responsibility,
but have had no one to model it for them.
Want an example?
Delayed Gratification - directing oneself away from initial wants.
Then intentionally walking into areas of discomfort that may be the most beneficial,
and learning to discern the difference.

Where will you attempt to make the difference?

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