According to PrisonFellowship.org, approximately 600 thousand people are released from prison each year. Two out of every three people who are released will commit another crime.
This is because incarceration does little to fix the systemic causes of crime (i.e., poverty, mental illness, etc). Re-entry ministry attempts to break the cycle of crime by helping those who are released gain a fair second chance by accompanying and providing critical resources to those who are attempting to get back on their feet after a period of incarceration.
- Provide in-jail visits, Bible studies, and prayer services.
- Letter writing to those who are incarcerated.
- Provides re-entry services to help those who are released from prison or jail obtain a fair second chance.
Augustinian Defenders of the Rights of the Poor (Philadelphia, PA)
- Weekly spiritual support meeting and annual retreats for those who were recently released from incarceration and/or suffer from addictions.
- The Mary, Mother of Captives pen pal program connects volunteers with incarcerated people who would otherwise not have anyone to talk to.
- Provide presentations to local high schools on the link between poverty, drugs, and mass incarceration to help stop the cycle of crime where it begins.
- Voices from Prison and the Edge newsletter provides a voice to the incarcerated who are not given a voice to share their experiences of incarceration.
St. Augustine Parish (Philadelphia, PA)
- Food pantry and monthly donuts/coffee to the homeless.
- Provides a Healing Garden as a place of remembering, praying for, and reconciling those who have been harmed by violence in the greater Philadelphia area and beyond.
- Created a committee on the Environment to develop practical steps the parish and parishioners can take to help care for the environment.