Geographical Areas Served: Forgiven Ministry, Inc goes where God opens prison doors. Officials in six states and all across North Carolina have invited the ministry behind prison walls, and demand continues to grow for our programs. So far, the ministry serves in all five regions of the North Carolina Department of Corrections (Western, Piedmont, Central, South Central and Eastern regions) with volunteers throughout the state sacrificing time and money to be involved in what they describe as a most worthwhile and rewarding program.
We work on a continuing basis with more than 23 prisons in North Carolina, delivering outreach, follow-up and mentoring for inmate children and families already served by One Day with God camps. Besides North Carolina, Forgiven Ministry is introducing and conducting camps in South Carolina, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado and Louisiana. The states of California, New Mexico, Georgia and Oregon have requested camps, but all the details have yet to be worked out. As we grow our resources, we expect the list of prisons served by our programs to grow proportionately.
Populations Served: The children of inmates, their caregivers and the inmates themselves are our target populations. Our program has reached almost 8,000 of these in the past six years. Many of the over 10,000 volunteers who have served during that time report a life-changing experience themselves. By altering the negative direction of an inmate’s life, taxpayers also benefit from the positive impact of our ministry.
It would be difficult to put a value on the benefits of keeping parents out of prison, and discouraging their children from following in their footsteps. But…
The average cost to house one inmate for one year in North Carolina is $26,104.80, according to the North Carolina Department of Correction, Office of Research and Planning.
Alternatively, the average cost of sending one student to college for one year in North Carolina is $10,437.00, including tuition, room, board and textbooks, according to allcollege.org.
Wouldn’t it make sense – financially, if for no other reason – to do all we can to help these individuals?
In addition, If we do not intervene in the lives of the children of inmates, they will become prime targets for drug dealers and gang leaders who want to fill the emptiness in their lives. As noted earlier,
research has shown that as many as 80 percent of the children of inmates eventually end up in prison themselves.
With such statistics staring us in the face, we are compelled to reach every at-risk youth we can.
As resources become available, we will be privileged to serve any state that requests our services. Forgiven Ministry serves all races, faiths and ages. We believe that in order to make the greatest difference in the lives of at-risk youth, we must serve the entire family. If the incarcerated parent has a new purpose in life, but the family is not connected, their success will be minimal. The whole family needs to be involved. It may seem like a big investment; but the return is so much bigger.