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Healing Communities: A Framework for Congregations in Their Ministry to Families Affected by Incarceration

NCJ Number
Stephanie Boddie; Robert Franklin; Harold Dean Trulear
Date Published
December 2010
24 pages
This report presents a framework for congregations to use in working with families affected by incarceration.
The framework included in this report was developed through consultation with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The focus of the framework is on the role that faith communities can play to improve prisoners' chances for successful reentry back into society following release from prison. The framework is based on discussions with individuals from congregations, faith-based organizations, theological and higher education, service providers, prison chaplains, and staff members of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The discussions centered on the faith community's response to the problem of prisoner re-entry, existing and promising practices for working with ex-offenders who are seeking successful re-entry into society, and the appropriate relationship that should exist between delivery of services to person's returning to the community from incarceration and the faith community's role as an advocate and voice for those individuals who live on the margins of society. The report has six primary sections that cover 1) faith, redemption, and the ministry of reintegration; 2) the challenges of mass incarceration; 3) a new response by congregations that builds on faith value resources and re-entry ministries; 4) programs and services for children and their parents; 5) best and promising practices for working with ex-offenders seeking to reenter society; and 6) the use of the healing communities model to restore communities that receive disproportionate number of individuals returning from incarceration.