All In Community Explores Ministry with Youthful Offenders

Tyrone and Ceth met each other at the Circleville Juvenile Correctional Facility. Jessica Jefferson, now the Female Administrator for the Department of Youth Services (DYS), was their social worker at the time.

"I had hopes and dreams for these boys," Jessica said. "Yet I knew I wouldn't be their turning point. They had to come to it on their own. When I heard about what they are doing now, I almost fell over. I am so proud."

On August 27, 2018, Jessica was there to congratulate and wish Tyrone and Ceth the best as they began their first day at Columbus State Community College. The two friends are beginning their studies in the dental hygiene program together.

“We got to visit the college while at Circleville when we went to the Restored Citizens Summit,” Tyrone said. While with DYS, Ceth obtained his high school diploma, and Tyrone received his GED.

Ceth went home first and kept in contact with Tyrone. They planned for making their way together. “We always synergized our ideas,” Ceth said. The two now share an apartment and transportation, and they work together on third shift.

“We’re pushing each other. We have to be there for each other,” Tyrone said.

Tyrone shares that faith played an important part in getting him to this point: “It was God, realizing that life was bigger. I was always reading books, but the Bible changed my life.” He also attributed doing well to Ceth, saying, “He’s been the most valuable person to me.”

The All In Community initiative is currently exploring opportunities with the Department of Youth Services for ministry with the young men and women at Youth Detention Centers located within The West Ohio Conference.

“We have a lot of folks ministering to men and women inside our state prisons and local jails, and they are bearing witness to the incredible spiritual transformation that is happening in these environments. Working with youth, who are on the cusp of going down the wrong road, is a new opportunity for us, in effect, to prevent future harm and hurt," says Reba Collins, All In Community consultant. "Ministry with young offenders ages 14-21 is a preventative step in shutting off the community to prison pipeline. We are very excited to see how we can come alongside this next generation to provide them hope and help for a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.”

If you are interested in exploring this area of All In Community ministry, there is a FREE Youthful Offender’s Symposium on October 5 from 8am – 3pm at Sinclair College in Dayton. More details about this event and registration can be found here.

** Tyrone and Ceth’s stories are reprinted with permission from the Department of Youth Services