Category: Prison and Religion

Prison ministry spreads to 3 states

LAFAYETTE — As a young husband and father, Russell Roseberry was hesitant to accept an invitation from the late Larry Gates to participate in prison ministry at the Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel. “I had been praying for specific direction, but I didn’t know if I wanted prison,” Roseberry said. “I had a wife and children.” As the director of InnerFaith Prison Ministry recalls that moment some 25 years later, he is at peace, having long ago found a place within prison walls. Curiosity convinced him to make his first trip with Gates into a prison. Being there confirmed

Georgia trying new faith-based program at state prisons

HAWKINSVILLE, Ga. – Georgia officials are trying a new faith-based program at six state prisons, which they hope will help inmates stay out of trouble once they are released. The program seeks to teach inmates personal responsibility, ethics, life skills, tolerance and respect for themselves and others. Already, 444 inmates have entered the program at Pulaski State Prison. The program has also being established at prisons in Walker, Habersham, Macon, Lowndes and Calhoun counties. Officials plan to start a faith-based program in all state prisons. Most Georgia prisons employ chaplains, and inmates attend Bible study and worship services. But the

Maryland prisons adopt religious program from popular book

BALTIMORE (AP) – Maryland’s Division of Correction is adopting a nondenominational personal growth program for Christian inmates based on a best-selling book. A California prison was the first to offer the program last year. It is based on the Rev. Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” and California officials credit it with helping to reduce prison violence by nearly 40 percent. Volunteers from Maryland churches will implement the program for any inmates who choose to attend. More than 125 inmates already have signed up for the first session at the Maryland Correctional Training Center near Hagerstown. Organizers said they hope

Prison system sued over religion policy

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A convicted rapist has filed suit against the state prison system, claiming he isn’t allowed to preach Christianity to fellow inmates. Peter Paul Ventura Jr., 47, an inmate at the Cheshire Correctional Institution, recently filed the lawsuit against the Department of Correction in Superior Court. Ventura is seeking an injunction requiring the department to end any actions that he claims put a burden on his religious practice. The lawsuit alleges Ventura has been threatened with disciplinary action if he “preaches, teaches or fellowships in the Christian faith,” in the prison yard or recreation area. Ventura wants