Ministry with Prisoners and Families: The Way Forward

by W. Wilson Goode Sr, Charles E. Lewis Jr, and others. Judson Press, 2011.
Large ministry prisoners families

This edited volume considers the “tidal wave” impact of incarceration on the African American community and argues for an intentional response from the church. It offers concrete programs and strategies for congregations to use with incarcerated men and women and their families, and the “returning citizen.” Making the case for both care and advocacy, contributors give practical ways to do both. Two resource highlights include Amachi (youth mentoring program) and the handbook, “What Shall We Then Do? A Family Freedom Kit” (a congregational guide to supporting prisoners and their families). Both resources, described in detail, have curriculums backed by national organizational networks. In another chapter an author uses her own prison experience to inform her suggestions for how and when congregations can have critical impact on the life of a prisoner. Another author demonstrates ways for congregations to make their space particularly welcoming to those dealing with the stigma of incarceration. Contributors include scholars, ministry practitioners, pastors, and formerly incarcerated individuals. Many articles in this volume include lists and links to additional resources.