Prisons and Jails: The Mission Field in Your Own Backyard
There is an overlooked mission field in our own backyard, one full of people desperate for help, healing, and wholeness. It’s a place much of our society tends to dismiss, filled with people who believe they have been cast aside, forgotten.
Alpha is brought to prisons and jails by dedicated volunteers who have attended Alpha at their local church or parish. These volunteers tangibly show the love of Jesus to men and women that society had tossed away and labeled as unworthy, broken, dangerous, or beyond help. Through Alpha, prisoners are reminded that God does not label them—he loves them.
Based on research by Dr. Byron Johnson concerning offender reentry, the Alpha USA Prisons and Reentry team further developed a model of reentry which encompasses both pre-and post-release interventions for offenders. There are many similar organizations like this within the U.S., and all report positive results in terms of ease of prison management and reduction of recidivism rates.
Recent studies show that 68% of offenders are re-arrested within five years of release. However, those inmates who complete reentry initiatives have an average recidivism rate of 20%.
While each reentry initiative is location-specific in design, the curriculum provided is based on a needs assessment completed to determine the offender’s success upon reentry. The curriculum consists of five areas of concentration: character development, anger management, addiction prevention, family/child relationships, and daily living skills.
God has used Alpha USA Prison and Reentry to reach tens of thousands of those considered ‘unreachable.’ We are grateful he has called us to be a part of this work. We invite you to partner with us as a local volunteer, bringing Alpha to a jail or prison, as a prayer partner, or by giving to help reach more inmates with the good news of Jesus.