USA (MNN) — America's budget woes have many states
rethinking corrections priorities, and a shift is taking place.
"2009 is going to be a time of survival," notes Crossroad
Bible Institute president, David Schuringa.
In many states, officials are looking at the bottom line and
considering lightening the load. That
means the removal of thousands of offenders from prisons and parole
Crossroad's base of operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Governor Jennifer Granholm likely will be suggesting the early release
of certain non-violent, non-threatening prisoners in order to save money as well as
enhance programs that help integrate those prisoners back into society.
However, Schuringa says "educational programs and
things that are needed to have a successful re-entry are being cut back
because there's no money for them in the prisons."
He adds that there have been deep cuts across the board,
with more promised. "There's less money
for chaplains. Last year hundreds of chaplains were fired, and
they're not being replaced," leaving the spiritual development needs of
the inmates unmet.
That's where Crossroad Bible Institute steps in to stand in
the gap. They work to provide
inmates with faith-based reentry education, equip the church to make disciples,
guide CBI students into reentry agencies upon their release, and educate
the church on criminal and restorative justice issues.
Discipleship ministry will continue, although Schuringa acknowledges
finances will be tight. And he says Crossroad is launching an evangelism project
that's been three years in the making, because some things can't wait. "There's a tremendous need to reach the
kids of prisoners and so we're going ahead with Bible studies for the children
of prisoners, hoping that we don't have to stop it for financial
While funding will be a challenge in 2009, Crossroad is looking
for people to pray and to help correct lessons. Click here for more details on what you can do to help.