Prison time begins at home

By August 28, 2014
The Ouachita River Correctional Unit in Arkansas.

The Ouachita River Correctional Unit in Arkansas.

USA (MNN) — A number of factors contribute to why people in the U.S. commit crimes and end up serving prison time. The way inmates were raised tells a lot about their life path and decisions.

In this report, David Schuringa of Crossroad Bible Institute (CBI) explores the connection between childhood and a life of crime.

“Upbringing has so much to do with direction,” Schuringa states.

“Take the background and childhood of an average prisoner…we know that their homes were chaos, 24/7; that they were neglected. 80% of them had no father in the home.”

Broken lives

(Photo cred: CBI)

(Photo credit CBI)

A 2012 study by The Sentencing Project, which “works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms,” describes the childhood environments of inmates who received Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP) sentences.

JLWOP prison time is given to people under the age of 18 who commit serious crimes.

According to the study, 79% witnessed violence in their homes. A third of participants were raised in poverty, and 18% were homeless before their incarceration. Nearly 80% of female “juvenile lifers” experienced physical abuse, and over 77% reported histories of sexual abuse.

The Good News in all of this is Jesus redeems. Accepting Christ as their Savior introduces prisoners to a new life and a new way of living. Prison time ends up being a blessing in disguise.

See how CBI introduces inmates to Christ here.

Schuringa describes four ways redemption impacts prisoners:

  • The blood of Christ covers all sin.
  • Prisoners’ heavenly Father is perfect.
  • God’s Word transforms their minds.
  • Inmates encounter of the love of a Christian community.

His last point is where you come in.

(Photo cred: CBI)

(Photo credit CBI)

“I would ask [readers] to get prayerfully involved right now,” Schuringa encourages. “We can always use more Bible study correctors, or ‘instructors,’ as we call them.”

Sign up to correct inmates’ Bible lessons here.

Prayer and getting involved in prison ministry are important, but so is awareness. Click here to learn more about the Democracy Restoration Act (DRA), which would restore voting rights to ex-felons.

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