Rehoboth Jail & Prison Ministry has nine different outreach programs that serve inmates and families of inmates who are currently incarcerated or have been incarcerated in the past. Following is a summary of each of the programs. If you would like more detail about each program, please click on the program title, which will take you to a page and brochure download devoted to that program.
This is an outreach anyone can become involved in. Being a Pen Pal can be as rewarding to you as it is to an inmate who receives no contact with anyone on the outside. A Pen Pal can give positive counseling and encouragement to inmates and new believers.
Mentoring by mature church members has to do with areas of Family Ministry, Ministry to Troubled Youth and Support Groups. Mentoring is something anyone can do by spending time with a person and setting a good example by living a Godly life. And, always being willing to allow your light to shine in a very dark and sinful world.
Many children who have an incarcerated parent have little respect for adults or authority. Children can be very rebellious, especially when they lose a parent to crime and face that embarrassment. These youth need a Christian mentor. Spending time with these young people, inviting them to go places they would not otherwise get to go, bringing the parent and youth to church, Bible study, prayer meeting, and other church activities will make a huge difference in the both parent and child. This outreach works along with the Family Ministry and the Pen Pal Ministry, with a mentor writing the inmate and being an encouragement to the parent incarcerated, as well.
Many people have no idea what to expect when a loved one is incarcerated. It is a difficult time for both the family and the one in jail or prison. Support groups can offer a chance for a group of individuals or families to gather and share information, comfort and encouragement. Support groups can help members better understand what their loved one will face as he or she goes to court, gets sentenced, and either serves time in jail or prison. Rehoboth Jail & Prison Ministry can provide guidance for anyone interested in starting a support group.
After Care is for the inmate after his release from incarceration. Through Restoration House, we will help provide a job and some work clothes upon parole for inmates who have been accepted into the Restoration program. It is almost impossible to be granted parole without an address where the local parole office can keep track of an ex-offender. Inmates need a home plan and a job promised in order to make parole; this will speed up a mandatory release as well. After Care for an inmate with no family in the area will be more extensive than for someone who has a family to parole to. This is an opportunity for many churches and individuals to work together, pooling resources and meeting needs. Rehoboth Jail & Prison Ministry is available to serve as an intermediary to help churches and indivduals coordinate after-care ministry to inmates in their area.
If church members know someone who has a loved one incarcerated, this is a chance to minister to someone who is truly hurting. The pastor can counsel and comfort the hurting person left without a spouse, parent, or sibling. Family Ministry might include financial help from the church for utilities or rent. Providing food could be very helpful; Rehoboth Jail & Prison Ministry has access to food pantries in Central VA. Home visitations, invitations to church, Bible study, invitations out to dinner or taking the family on an outing somewhere they otherwise couldn't afford are just a few ideas of how a family ministry can help lighten the burden.
Family Ministry should include mentoring the family with couples or same-sex Christians (females mentoring females, males mentoring males). It should be the desire of the church to get the family as interested in spiritual help as well as meeting material needs.
Restoration House is a program that we are ready to implement as soon as the ministry receives the land or buildings we need, as well as funding for the first year. The goal of Restoration House is to provide housing, clothes, food and jobs for male inmates who are being released into society with nowhere to go. Men will live in a Christian environment at Restoration House for 12 months while they readjust to society on the outside. To succeed in this project, we need need a lot of prayers and financial support.This is a very important program for helping inmates get acclimated back into society after their release and its success has already been proven.
The purpose of this free seminar is to allow the members of each congregation to be aware of things that need to be addressed when dealing with men and women who either are incarcerated or have been incarcerated. Individual ministry brochures give some details of several of these concerns; however, the seminar covers, in full detail, the do’s and don’ts of each type of outreach. Volunteers need to know what to expect, what they may run into, and how to respond. All this and more will be covered in the seminar. We know there is always a risk of a good-hearted, well-meaning, child of God being taken advantage of unless they understand the potential dangers before they can develop. Since this ministry has been dealing with inmates for more than twenty years, we can be of assistance with sharing the practical skills needed for the church to help inmates without becoming a victim to a continuing con artist. We do not want to have the actions of an unbelieving inmate to discourage a church (or individual) from being involved in ministry because they were taken advantage of. This is why receiving an instructional seminar is so important before beginning with prison ministry.