“I was in prison, and you visited me.” (Matt 25:37)
These are words that Criminal Justice & Mercy Ministries takes to heart.
The focus of CJAMM in the year to come is breaking the generational cycles of incarceration through educating not only our districts but our individual churches as well. We are getting people out of the walls of prison and with your help giving them the opportunity to see that they are forgiven and accepted by not only God but also by his disciples. We will be traveling to each district to educate churches on how to make disciples of people coming out of prison and their families. We were part of the training in March for “Engaging Children of Hope.” A child of hope is the new term used to describe a child with at least one incarcerated parent.
Our Exodus Houses have been successful throughout 2016 and on into 2017. The Exodus Houses focus on re-entry to society from prison, giving each person in the program the skills needed to not only survive the world but also to thrive in it. Our recidivism rate is 1.6%, meaning 98.4% of our program graduates did not return to prison and are living successful lives in their communities. The Exodus House in Oklahoma City has a new roof.
The mission of CJAMM is to break generational cycles of prison, addiction, and criminogenic behavior by nurturing healthy Christian relationships with prison inmates and their families, targeting specific reentry needs, providing care for the children of incarcerated parents, and advocacy.
The ministry helps former inmates find employment and housing, reunify families, and support them with transportation and other needs. CJAMM volunteers serve in almost every prison in the state of Oklahoma.
Our Parsonage Sober Living Home in Tulsa has been over 60% renovated. Residents of Exodus House Oklahoma City and Tulsa as well as the Parsonage are receiving weekly counseling and group sessions to deal with not only addiction but also trauma they have experienced in earlier years of life.
Our Redemption Missions saved the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and the state over $540,000 last year by offering classes such as Anger Management, AA, NA, and “Cage Your Rage.” The Redemption Missions work on not only making disciples but also equipping those in prison with a safe community environment. New Day Camp (our camp for children with incarcerated parents) is still a heartwarming experience for everyone who attends. We served 121 children through camp in 2016, with a goal of 165 in 2017. We were able to get scholarships of $250 per child to assist with meals and lodging.
Kristen Harlin, executive director