I grew up on an island just off the south coast of England, which was famous for having two maximum-security prisons. As a child, the high prison walls held a mixture of fascination and horror for me. I remember travelling past them and wondering what life could be like for those inside.
For some of us, what happens in prisons is a mystery – but it need not be. Many of you will already be working in prisons, but for others, this edition may offer an opportunity to take a glimpse over the prison walls.
There are many ways of supporting prisoners and ex-offenders, showing God’s heart of compassion and welcome to people who – like us! – desperately need him. In this edition, prison chaplain Matt Boyes shares tips for getting involved in prison visiting. We explore what makes a fair trial, and what to do if fair trials are not happening in your country. Prison Fellowship Singapore discusses ways to support the families of prisoners, while Red Viva Honduras shares its experience of using football to help young people avoid crime.
In preparing this edition, it has been such a blessing to partner with Prison Fellowship International, the world’s largest prison ministry organisation. Your local branch of Prison Fellowship is a great place to start if you feel called to work in prison ministry.
PS I need your help to make sure Footsteps is doing its job! Some years ago, we had a group of readers who provided feedback by email on every edition of Footsteps. I am eager to restart this group. If you would like to be part of it, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me a little about yourself. Thank you!
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