This letter is from a Chaplain at one of Americaâ€™s federal prisons; he is not asking for money.
The federal government has taken new initiatives within Americaâ€™s prisons called the Life Connections Program (LCP). It is also known as the â€œFaith Based Initiative.â€ Life Connections is an 18 month rehabilitative program designed to encourage prisoners in their spiritual journey and help prepare them to reenter society. Studies show that men and women who involve themselves seriously with religious studies are far less likely to return to prison. One of the final components of the Life Connections Program is to locate a faith-based group to provide spiritual support for the ex-offender. Friends, mentoring congregations, or civic groups are asked to provide a support system that is faith-oriented to the ex-offender. We are not asking for money or housing. Quite often, the ex-offender is not being released for several months (sometimes years) so your relationship begins by writing letters to one another. Over 100 Muslims will soon be returning to their homes all over America. Who among you will open your hearts and Mosques to these men and women? Their punishment is over; let their new life begin.
For those willing to help, I will send an After-Care Mentor Guide, which is one suggestion on how to possibly organize your mentor team and how to get started in this wonderful ministry. Remember, this is only a suggestion. You may have your own plan in place. For personal mentoring (one on one) it is most advisable for men to mentor men and women to mentor women. Some faith groups decide to use a group setting (mentoring team)â€”this is also an effective technique.
If you believe persons in your congregation may like to help, please contact me. Retired persons are ideal for this ministry. It is my observation that mentors benefit from this ministry as well as the ex-offender. America has over 10,000 persons every week being released from prison. Nearly 70% of those will return to prison. This is one of Americaâ€™s largest problems. Please think and pray about this great need.
On the Authority of Abu Hamzah Ibn Maalik who reported that the messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him) said â€œNone of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.â€
Thank you for your time.
â€”Minister Joseph Dulmage
Joseph Dulmage, Volunteers of America, Director of Prisoner Aftercare; PO BOX 455; Belleville, MI 48112-0455; 734.697.2010; Jdulmage166496mi@comcast.net or firstname.lastname@example.org.