The Prisoner is Free!

Do we make it easy for the Prisoner just out of jail? I thought this, as I sat in Social Service Centres waiting (e.g. Centrelink), filling out paperwork, cancelling bank cards, reissuing new cards, attending job assessment meetings and so on and so on...

There's the excuse that they have done wrong in the past by their actions, so it's their fault that reconnecting into the community is so hard. Or is this just an easy excuse, so that we don't need to improve the bureaucratic system that we have created?

Freed prisoners need our greatest support to reconnect them into meaningful community. They need people that support and love them, so they can move from relatively unknown surroundings; to employment, having a friendship base, networks in the community, mentors, etc.

The book of Isaiah says (Ch. 61:1), that 'the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me... to release the prisoner from darkness...' The early Salvos knew what this meant, as they engaged with what was called a Prison Gate Brigade, where prisoners that had just been released from 'Gaol' would be met by a soldier or two. Without the Salvos help in reconnecting freed prisoners, the person would be left to fend for themselves, possibly returning to a life of crime...

The Prisoner is Free. What will we do? Share

3 comments:

  1. I could not agree with you more on this topic. These people do need people to help them reconnect with the outside world and surely if those people trying to help are Christians there is much less chance of them returning to a life of crime for I would hope that Christ would shine through them and give them a real desire for a better way of life. God bless you.

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  3. good word pete!

    while i was at 614 we had a few guys come through straight out of prison, and i was blown away with how hard they have it once theyre free.

    i keep seeing in our social work and stuff that all we need is to be loving people who take people in. and by doing that lives will change... thank God for all the great salvos working with ex-prisoners!

    missing you guys! i went to a revival conference on the weekend and im charged!!! check out www.jesusculture.org and look at testimonies in the media player...

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