The West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church supports a wide variety of mission partners, both local and global, in advancing our common mission to 'make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.' Each month, we will join together in praying for our brothers and sisters doing mission and ministry around the world.
August: Prison Ministry
The U.S. criminal justice system has become anything but 'just.' With only 4.4% of the world's population, the United States contains nearly 25% of the world's prisoners, imprisoning its residents at a higher rate than countries such as China, Russia, and Rwanda. In the past five decades, the U.S. prison population has quintupled, from 330,000 to 1.57 million, while crime rates have remained fairly steady. The War on Drugs, 'tough on crime' politics, and mandatory minimum sentences mean those convicted of crimes - many of them non-violent offenses - stay in prison for longer periods of time. At the same time, few programs exist to help inmates better themselves, or to prepare for life on the outside, even though 96 percent of prisoners will eventually be released back into their communities. And those communities are hurting, with families torn apart, heads of households taken away, children growing up without knowing one or both of their parents. West Ohio’s All In Community is part of the West Ohio Conference’s response to the needs of those inside and outside of the prison walls.
This month, please pray for:
Week 1: Politicians of all parties to recognize the damage the ‘tough on crime’ model has done to individuals and communities and to continue scaling back the criminal justice system.
Week 2: The families and communities devastated by the removal of fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.
Week 3: Prisoners who are released and must try to reintegrate back into the lives of their families and communities.
Week 4: All In Community, West Ohio’s prison initiative, which exists to equip local churches in the West Ohio Conference to become communities of support for families and citizens impacted by incarceration.