As a Christian organization, The Salvation Army does not shun those who have been incarcerated. Instead, men and women who are interned as part of a correctional program can receive counseling, spiritual guidance, job training, and other support. This support is also extended to their families. The Salvation Army also operates halfway houses that further rehabilitate and help reformed transgressors ease back into society. The Christian goals of The Salvation Army’s correctional programs are to provide spiritual enrichment and guidance that will lead those incarcerated to live good and honorable lives. Supplying inmates and parolees with support and skills training enables them to be self-sufficient in legal and productive ways.
Through cooperative arrangements with prison, probation and parole officials throughout the country, The Salvation Army plays a growing role in prison rehabilitation and crime prevention. In some jurisdictions, prisoners are paroled to the direct custody of The Salvation Army. Services include Bible correspondence courses, prerelease job- training programs, employment opportunities in cooperation with parole personnel, material aid and spiritual guidance for both prisoners and their families.
Community-based rehabilitation is provided in centers. Many Salvation Army rehabilitation centers and Harbor Light Centers serve as designated halfway houses, where former prisoners can participate in work-release programs. Those convicted of minor offenses often are given the opportunity to accept placement in community- service programs at corps community centers and institutions as an alternative to incarceration, or in the last months of their sentences.
In addition, Salvation Army officers and volunteers lead worship services in jails and prisons. Counseling and emergency assistance also are available to crime victims and/or families of those incarcerated.
The Salvation Army's Bible Correspondence Lessons are available to all incarcerated persons. For many, the lessons offer new understandings and form the base for developing a spiritual motivation for their lives.
What makes a person truly free? Can people change? Does good prevail? Everyday these tough questions seem to become more prevalent as streets seem less safe, crime more abundant and prisons overcrowded. It is evident these are questions we must face.
Although there are no easy fixes, The Salvation Army believes there are positive answers and solutions to address these issues. We believe people can, and do, change, and it starts with the heart. This belief is at the core of The Salvation Army's Correctional Services. It is a ministry based on the idea that people are not irredeemable, but they must be shown the way, beginning with compassion. Demonstrating to people they aren't abandoned in the abyss of consequences, The Salvation Army reaches out to individuals who are imprisoned and families left behind. The correctional ministry represents a continuum of Christian compassion and care.
USA Department of Corrections Website Link: http://www.prisonpenpals.com/corrections.html
Corrections Connection Network: http://www.corrections.com