Prison & Re-Entry

Alpha in prisons was launched in December 1995 in response to demand from prisoners who had the desire to live changed lives. Alpha runs successfully in all types of prisons and correctional institutions for both men and women, and is also used in young offender and juvenile institutions.

Recent studies show that 68% of offenders are re-arrested within five years of release. However, those inmates who complete Re-Entry Initiatives have an average recidivism rate of 20%.

This is exactly the reason why our work is so vital to the safety of our citizens and to the re-entry success of our inmates. Through an interdenominational, national network of churches which regularly run Alpha, Christians are sharing their life changing experiences with inmates in our nation's prisons and jails. Through Alpha and the local church, we believe that fewer people will return to prison once released.

I rejoice at how God is using Alpha so powerfully to renew many churches both inside and outside prison walls.
— Chuck Colson, Founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries


We continue to pursue where we believe the Lord wants us to go — inside the prisons and jails in this country.

Alpha’s holistic introduction to the Christian faith provides prisoners, through observation and dialogue, the opportunity to discover for themselves the meaning of life. Alpha in prisons is an effective ministry tool by which prisoners can overcome their deep sense of loss through the understanding of what it really means to have “Christ in their lives.” Hope through faith is then restored and they are more likely to live by Biblical standards while still in prison and after release.

I learned from Alpha that being a Christian can be fun. I’ve made the commitment to start over in Christ. The mistakes I’ve made are over with and I’ve asked God to forgive me.
— Sherri, ex-offender - USA

How does Alpha run in a Prison?
Generally, Alpha runs for thirteen weeks. Although, it can be presented over a shortened period of time or extended as determined by the Alpha Volunteer and Chaplain. Each session is a chance for fellowship over food and/or drink, where possible, followed by a video talk with subject central to the Christian faith. After the video talk, participants divide into pre-arranged small groups where they have the opportunity to discuss the talk in an environment that allows each person to ask or say anything. 

Each prison is different, and so are the conditions under which Alpha is presented. Resources are available to assist the Alpha leaders in determining how to provide the material in as meaningful a format as possible. Contact us below for help and more information.

We so appreciate your interest in Alpha for Prisons & Re-Entry. If you would like to become involved, we would love to hear from you. Together, we can make a difference and glorify God by growing Re-Entry Initiatives in every state and making our communities safer places in which to live.


National Director
Jack Cowley  |  918-231-8847  |  jackcowley@alphausa.org

Deputy Director
Bruce Paulus  |  937-621-1930  |  brucepaulus@alphausa.org

Office Manager
Lou Ronna Richardson  |  314-607-8850  |  louronnarichardson@alphausa.org

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