Coming Up: Prison Reform & Ministry
Jail Reform, meet the director of Reachout Jail Ministry, Thursday, October 3
7:00 p.m., at Second Congregational UCC/First Presbyterian Church, 318 North Church Street (enter through the northeast door on Church Street).
Rockford’s jail population averages 900 prisoners in the Winnebago County jail plus another 1,000 prisoners serving time in state penitentiaries. Christ calls us to at least visit the imprisoned, and the community should also welcome them upon their re-entry, but the Winnebago County area is poorly served and needs more volunteers and programs to help these citizens stay away from crime.
RUM will host this program reviewing the various jail ministries and re-entry programs and try to find ways our churches can help. There are individual volunteers who serve through the Reach-Out Jail Ministries programs. The director, George Hofstedter, is a friend and a mentor. We pray for resources for his ministry. George will be one of the panelists that will not only update us on the latest work in Winnebago County but also preview what plans help the returning citizen. We have also invited a representative from Lutheran Social Services to speak about their state-wide program for returnees.
The City of Rockford helps with resources through their RAVENS program. We are in contact with the director of the John Howard Association of Illinois, which works for prison reform throughout the state. He will either be available for our September meeting or in early 2014. The meeting date is Thursday, September 26, 7:00 p.m., at Second Congregational UCC/First Presbyterian Church, 318 North Church Street (enter through the northeast door on Church Street).