Enthusiasm greets a faith-based prison networking program.

By June 2, 2005

USA (MNN)–Three quarters of the prisoners who don’t have a support network in place when they’re released are likely to return to a life of crime. Released inmates need help finding a job, securing housing, locating a church and getting established.

That’s where Crossroad Bible Institute comes in. A recent ministry launch is entirely focused on helping its inmate students successfully transition from prison back into their communities.

Crossroad’s David Schuringa says there are faith-based reentry groups out there that can pick up where the education left off. “The new reentry program will increase the effectiveness of our educational programming,” he adds, “by providing a structure to help inmates put into practice the faith-based principles they learned.”

However, Schuringa goes on to say, “We’re discovering that they do not have a way to identify promising candidates in the prison system, but without a track record, it’s very difficult for them to know if this person is the real deal, really wants to have help in re-entry, or if they’re just going to be a waste of money.”

CBI prepares prisoners for release by providing in-depth mentorship in a faith-based program. It’s a five-year interactive Bible study. Moreover, at the end of the five years, CBI can provide a printed history of the inmate’s progress to reentry agencies, which will help establish their determination.

Schuringa says their reentry program networks the inmate with faith-based reentry agencies, while at the same time introducing inmates into the body of Christ. “On the one hand, the students had no way of finding these re-entry ministries, on the other hand, these re-entry ministries have had a difficult time finding promising candidates so it’s just a beautiful way to network in the church.”

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