- Gather Research: Learn about the challenges and issues surrounding crime, incarceration and reentry in your community and its affect on families.
- Provide Awareness: Introduce the issues of arrest, incarceration, reentry and victimization to the congregation in a safe and secure environment.
- Connect With Community Resources: Identify resources in the community that are available to support defendants, incarcerated persons, returning citizens, victims, and their families. Begin joining and building partnerships and networks.
- Organize a Bible Study: Study Biblical references to prison and incarceration in conjunction with studying The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
- Plan a Worship or Revival Theme: Create awareness and support for families impacted by incarceration with the goal of promoting Restorative Justice in the congregation and the community through a special worship service, revival, or sermon series.
Next Steps for my Congregation:
- Engage Members of the Congregation: Carefully analyze gifts and passions of the congregation and identify specific ways for them to become engaged.
- Provide Training: Provide ongoing training for the ministries in the church so that they will be ready to respond when one of their members is impacted by incarceration.
- Support Individuals and Families: Invite the congregation to share when one of them or a family member is arrested, in prison, reentering society, or the victim of a crime, so that the congregation can support them throughout the process.
- Develop Accountability Structure: Ensure that there is a team to continually monitor, support, evaluate and revise the process for the Station of Hope.
- Advocate! Advocate for laws and policies that support and enable Restorative Justice for incarcerated persons and returning citizens, their families and communities. Address legal, social and policy issues that serve as barriers to successful reentry to society for returning citizens.
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