Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Strength for the journey – Paul follows up on his talk last Sunday

Prisoners week

Earlier this month, it was Prisoners Week in Scotland. It’s an initiative among churches that has a vision for a just and peaceful society where all people are cared for and supported be they prisoners, the families of prisoners, those released from prison or the victims of crime. Hebrews 13:3 tells us to ‘Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering’.

In Scotland today there are roughly 8,000 people in prison. 73% are serving a sentence, 23% are on remand and untried. 4% are awaiting sentence. Of the people in prison, 25%, said they had been in the care system when they were children. Thankfully, Psalm 68:5 tells us that God is a father to the fatherless and chaplaincy teams and Prison Fellowship volunteers work with many of these individuals week in week out to build positive relationships.

For many people strength for the journey is needed following release from prison. After serving their sentence and having done everything that society has asked of them, 1 in 3 people on the day that they leave prison will not know where they will sleep that night. They are homeless. It is therefore no surprise that 24% of people released will return to prison within 12 months of their release.

At Bethany Christian Trust, one of the services that we run is Connect to Community (C2C). Volunteer mentors are trained to support men and women on release from prison. We support people prior to their release, organise a mentor and meet with people on the day of their release as well as connecting individuals in to a church community. Here’s a video presenting some of what C2C offers.

Please continue to hold in prayer everyone impacted by the criminal justice system. Whether it be victims of crime, those who are serving time, those who are waiting for trial or sentence. Prison staff and chaplains and the many volunteers of Prison Fellowship and Connect to Community who seek to support people as they find hope and freedom both behind bars and beyond the prison gates.