Etowah County church works to spin prisoners into improved citizens

Etowah County Jail.jpg
GADSDEN, Ala. — Many churches in Etowah County yield jail ministries. But Rainbow Church of Christ takes it a step further, providing a 12-step module and a function method and even a transitory home for womanlike inmates when they are released.

Ray Cox, one of a program’s leaders, cites a thoroughfare in Matthew 25, commencement with hymn 34, as inspiration.

The thoroughfare starts with Jesus revelation a story of how some people will be certified to Heaven, with God observant they helped him in times of need, including visiting Him when He was in prison. They will ask when they did those things. “The King will reply, we tell you
the truth, whatever we did for one of a slightest of these brothers of mine, we did for me,'” Matthew 25:40.

This is a church’s approach of living out that parable.

Cox and Tony Cleveland, another program leader, contend jail is an ideal place to minister.

“I tell them, now God has their attention,” Cox said. “It’s an ideal time and approach to find God.”

Cleveland agreed. “They are a serf audience. They’re not going anywhere.”

Active appearance also demonstrates the inmates are focussed on reforming themselves.

The church uses curriculum from New Life Behavior Ministries, a inhabitant module by the Church of Christ.

“It’s not your standard Bible lessons in jail,” Cox said.

The curriculum touches on such topics as self-esteem, marriage, parenting skills, piece abuse, passionate obsession and more.

“It teaches them they’re something special since they’re God’s creation,” Cox said.

The 12-step program, Christians Against Substance Abuse, is during a core of a module since many of a inmates are there on drug- or alcohol-related charges.

“Courses make an impact on a inmates,” Cleveland said, and there are 40 or 50 in some classes. There are dual groups for women dual Spanish versions and several for men, to make 9 or 10 total.

And a support doesn’t end when a inmates get out of jail.

The church offers dual CASA support groups during a church, welcoming some-more than usually former inmates. There is a organisation for women during 6 p.m. Mondays and one for organisation during 6 p.m. Thursdays.

Many of a former inmates dump out of a module once they accommodate a judge’s charge of a certain series of 12-step meetings.

“Some stick with it,” Cleveland said. “Two or 3 guys, we work with an almost a day-to-day basis.”

There are some success stories.
Cleveland told of one former invalid who went on to spin an A student at Gadsden State Community College and now is posterior his grade at Jacksonville State University. “That’s what keeps we going,” Cox said, “those success stories.”

The church is means to go a step forward with women when they get out of jail by Rainbow of Hope, a transitional home where a church provides aftercare, helps them find jobs and provides other skills to assistance them get behind into multitude and keep out of jail.

“We get them in a home, get them a pursuit and supervise them,” Cleveland said.

Cox forked out that Gov. Bob Riley has pronounced a problem with re-entry is so great, a state cannot do it all. He has called on churches and eremite organizations to help. “It’s spin famous this has been a usually approach they can be rehabilitated,” Cleveland pronounced of aftercare programs.

Rainbow of Hope recently housed 9 women, with a 10th approaching a day of this interview.

The church did not have adequate income to start Rainbow of Hope, Cox said, since a guilt is high. But an profession did the horizon pro bono, and a organisation of contributors have helped make it a success. More contributions are needed, however, and a church welcomes support from a community.

Cox combined that there are about 25,000 inmates being expelled in a year. The state can take care of 1,000 of those financially. “If one church would take caring of one expelled prisoner, that problem could be solved,” Cox said.

“When you assistance a prisoner, we make them a softened citizen. In turn, we help society.”

Cox and Cleveland have seen so most success with New Life Behavior Ministries they would like for it to expand. It is recommended for training during all Texas and Florida penal comforts and

is in jails and prisons in 40 states, they said, and they see no reason that can’t occur in Alabama. “That’s a mission,” Cox said. “To get them in each penal trickery in a state.”

For more information on New Life, CASA and Rainbow of Hope, call 547-3731.

(This news was created by Melanie Jones of The Gadsden Times and distributed around The Associated Press.)

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