CR Inside Newsletter

The blog for CR Inside. Much talk about all things CR Inside...

The Do's and Don'ts Following Incarceration

Very little has been said about how God’s church can best help ex-offenders upon their return to the community, and for good reason. A recidivism rate that re-incarcerates about 7 out of 10, most within 150 days of release, and a recurring reminder of that failure blasted on the daily evening news arguably makes helping ex-felons a losing proposition. More times than not our Godly intentions turn into a significant level of humiliation, distress and even pain in the process.

Now let me give you the good news. Increasingly, 3 out of 10 are indeed succeeding in their transition into the community in growing numbers too. And no, they are not making the evening news, nor is there TV coverage on what actually works. So rather than focus on the major cause and effect of recidivism, let’s look at what many ex-offenders and law enforcement personnel themselves have offered as the basic “Do’s and Don’ts” proven to help a successful transition into the community.

10 Things Churches With CR Ministries Should Do:


C    Christ love is shown for the person
O    Openly treat the person as you would all others
M    Mature, same sex sponsors should come along side the person
I      Integrate them into the appropriate group, encourage their full involvement in CR *
N    Network with churches/community agencies to meet needs they can’t meet
G    Grace given along with accountability 

B    Be aware of their previous environment of manipulation    
A    Assess their CR background, utilize their strengths, help them with their weaknesses *
C    Check with probation/parole staff on restrictions or special parole conditions 
K    Keep showing love, even when they are unlovable 

10 Things Churches With CR Ministries Should Not Do:


G    Give personal money, goods or services unless you are equipped to do so
O    Offer to take them home with you 
O    Openly announce to any group the person is an ex-offender
D    Deal, bargain or conduct business agreements with ex-offenders 

A    Allow inappropriate behavior to go unchecked 
D    Deal, bargain, or conduct business agreements with ex-offenders  
V    Volunteer any information to others in church about their reason for incarceration    
I      Inquire of them about their reason for incarceration 
C    Conduct your own investigation of alleged wrongdoing, contact appropriate authority
E    Encourage them to speak against authorities (parole/probation officer, judges, etc.)

* Indicates areas of potential leadership