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Published on 08 April, 2013

Prison ministry makes a difference

USA (MNN) — In a new article published on "Think Christian," president of Crossroad Bible Institute (CBI)
Dr. David Schuringa describes
how prison ministry plays a role in decreasing crime rates. The article
was also featured by the Acton Institute's blog.

In the article, Dr. Schuringa pointed out that violent crime has been
in decline for the past twenty years. Although experts have posed
several possible explanations about what has caused this trend, prison
ministry’s role has been largely overlooked.

Many prisoners have a difficult time assimilating back into society
upon release. They are likely to fall back into the same habits they
developed before being incarcerated.

Discipled criminals, however, are less likely to be repeat offenders
once released, as numerous studies have shown. "Prison ministry’s effect
on recidivism rates should be good news for our communities," Schuringa
writes.

Crossroad serves thousands of prisoners nationwide, and that number has been growing every year. Dr. Schuringa notes the correlation between twenty years of CBI student growth and the decline in crime over those same years. "Could it be that the drop in crime is correlated
with the church's increased intensity in reaching out to prisoners in
the last 20 years?" he asks.

CBI has over 45,000 students this year, and the number continues to grow.

If the trend continues at this rate, the number of discipled prisoners
will continue to increase and recidivism rates will continue to
decrease. "Prison ministry’s effect on recidivism rates should be good
news for our communities," says Dr. Schuringa, "whether one buys into
the faith-based approach or not."

As the ministry grows, the need for more volunteer's increases. Schuringa explains, "This is a hands-on ministry. It's not something that you just give money to [and] watch professionals do the work."

There are many ways you can help. There is a great need for instructors, and CBI provides the training. "Its safe, it's secure, you can do it from your own home," says Schuringa. It's simple: "Correct the Bible study lessons of prisoners, and write letters of encouragement." In the comfort of your home, you can be making a profound difference in many lives.

Another way you can help is by simply downloading and printing off enrollment forms to pass out. That way, more people who are incarcerated can have the opportunity to be involved in this life-changing program.

Pray for CBI as they continue to minister to prisoners across the U.S. Also pray that more volunteers would be willing to get involved in this ministry. And pray that the eyes of prisoners will be open to the Truth of God's Word.

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