The cycle of incarceration is a difficult issue, especially in the United States.
We have the highest prison population of any country in the world. Over 2.2 million men, women and juveniles are incarcerated today, with nearly 5 million on either probation or parole. Each year, more than 600,000 inmates are released into the general public. Approximately 70% of all inmates released will reoffend within 5 years of being released.
When released, inmates move into our cities and our neighborhoods. Unfortunately, many struggle finding housing and jobs. Due to a lack of funding, in-prison programs have been cut or are rendered ineffective, as a result, many inmates lack basic life skills and often struggle finding normalcy.
Source: US Department of Justice and the National Justice Institute
There is a solution. We believe that the only true way to break the cycle of incarceration is through the freedom found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Studies have shown that with faith-based in-prison and aftercare programs, the odds of reoffending can drop significantly. Whether you believe in what we believe, if we're successful, our results benefit everyone.
513FREE offers comprehensive Gospel-centric programs for the incarcerated and those at-risk. Locally we offer a youth mentorship program (Tandem), and a reentry program for those being released from prison. Regionally, we offer music & outreach events, and regularly go behind the walls of prisons and juvenile centers. Lastly, we've created a national print publication called 'The Pen Project' that gives inmates opportunities to tell their stories through art and creative writing.