Breaking the law can have devastating effects on a person's life. Once a person is caught and arrested, they may be sentenced to prison time, depending on the severity of their offense. Once a person has finished serving their prison sentence, their debt to society is considered paid. However, life can be difficult for ex-inmates, even after they're released from prison. Fortunately, there are support groups designed to help former inmates. Here are four ways that Christian support can help ex-inmates get back on their feet:
1. Provide necessary fellowship
People thrive when they have people who love and understand them. Fellowship is an especially important part of the Christian lifestyle. A Christian support group can provide spiritual fellowship for former inmates. Spending time with other ex-inmates who understand the experiences you've had will help you feel understood and supported. Christian ex-inmates can spend time reading the Bible together, praying together, and discussing sermons with one another.
2. Offer mentorship opportunities for ex-inmates
Everyone needs guidance sometimes, especially Christians. The world is full of secular ideals that often prioritize selfishness. Falling in with the wrong crowd can encourage ex-inmates to go back to bad behaviors. A Christian support group can connect former inmates to strong Christian mentors. These mentors have experienced imprisonment themselves. They can help Christian people transition back into life on the outside. Christian mentors can provide spiritual advisement and pray for the mentees under their care.
3. Connect ex-inmates with employers
Gainful employment is a necessary part of life. Ex-inmates need to be able to support themselves and their families. Unfortunately, people with criminal records may face difficulties when it comes to finding a job. A Christian support group can help ex-inmates find work. Many Christian organizations offer employment to former inmates as part of their outreach programs.
4. Provide counseling services for inmates and their families
Prison time can strain even the strongest relationships. When ex-inmates are released from prison, they may find that their families' lives have moved on without them; their spouses and children have likely formed new routines and come to rely on each other exclusively. Becoming a family again can be hard, but it's possible with understanding and commitment. Christian support groups for former inmates can provide spiritual counseling services for families. Reconnecting based on their marriage vows and mutual love for Jesus can repair even the most difficult relationships.
Check out a resource like Restored By Christ to learn more.