"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor”….Isaiah 6
God seeks to set prisoners free—not always from their physical prison, but certainly from their imprisonment by sin, ignorance, rebellion, and foolish choices. Jesus identified Himself as the source of this freedom. As this is an important part of God's work, it is an important part of the Church's work as well.
In 2014, African-American women were incarcerated at more than twice the rate of Caucasian women. Hispanic women are incarcerated at 1.2 times the rate of white women.
Why are women sentenced to prison?
74% are in for drug crimes, 28% are in for property crimes (compared to 19% for me), usually to pay for drug habits, and 37% are convicted of violent crime.
The many problems women have stem from the difficulties they were having before prison, and many come from the imprisonment itself. Inside they are often victimized, suffer from unstable family life, separation from children and loved ones, (men are visited in prison 10 times more often than women), continuing substance abuse, and unaddressed mental health issues. Sexual abuse is rampant with no way to escape the abuser, the abuse goes uninvestigated, and there is little or no public concern. All of these make prison a terrifying experience, deeply scaring already devastated psyches. Prison is not designed to address any of these, and often multiplies these issues they have experienced. When released most all completely unprepared to deal with their original issues and the problems heaped on them in prison.
Yet there is hope for them. The Good News, the Gospel, continues to transform lives for those who listen to it. We can, and are, doing something.
MINTS has successfully pioneered Christian study centers in ten prisons so far, with outstanding success. We offer organized academic studies, combined with prayer and care, to show prisoners how to discover Biblical truth for themselves, apply it to their lives and share it with their families and others. We help them discover forgiveness, love, strength, and encouragement for living the life they were intended to live.
This is our new effort to start in Women’s Prisons. We have permission to start in Homestead Correctional, and we have a new center starting in Ocala, FL.
We need your help. Lives are depending on it – the women themselves, their children, and their families. We need books, basic study items like pen and paper, and operational funds to move the program forward. Nationally three-fourths of women prisoners were mothers, and two-thirds of them have children under 18. Those who deliver in prison and not allowed to see the child they have just given birth to or to have any role in raising them. If a relative cannot take them the state does. You can imagine what this does to the heart of most mothers, and the fear and anxiety they face.
We can help them.
We have the teachers. We have the leadership. Now we need some tools and support.
Would you help us? $100 educates and trains an inmate for a year. We are ready to train 50 this year.
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