Behind the Walls
"I was in prison, and
you came to visit me."
The Incarceration Rate in the United States has quadrupled in the last 30 years, resulting in a prison population of more than 2.2 million at the end of 2005. Nearly 200,000 of those men and women are in Federal Prisons, while the remaining fill our nation's state prisons and local jails.
One out of every 100 adults in America is incarcerated . The overwhelming majority of those incarcerated will be eventually released. Every year, approximately 630,000 offenders are released from prison, which means that these 630,000 offenders will be re-entering our neighborhoods and our churches.
At the end of 2005, over 4.9 million U.S. citizens were on Federal, State or local parole (or probation). And, by the end of 2006 one in every 31 adults in the U.S. were either incarcerated or on probation or parole. But, on average, only 45% of those released will successfully complete their parole. 38% are statistically likely to be returned to prison. But, there is hope. Jericho Commission is helping committed Christians successfully re-enter society.
Although Jericho Commission is an ex-offender re-entry program, we choose to call those who seek help from us—participants. The terms felon and ex-offender are labels that are continual reminders of what a person has done and where they’ve been. We believe a person has the right to have our utmost respect.
Jericho Commission works with prison chaplains and staff to enroll participants as early as 18 months prior to release. Participants are selected based on the following criteria: type of offense; personal testimony; behavior while incarcerated; recommendations of the prison chaplain and staff.
Once the Participant has submitted an application, gone through our screening process, and been accepted by our Screening & Assessment Board—he or she will work hand in hand with the chaplain and a mentor, of the same gender, from a local church to prepare for his or her release. These mentors will have been trained by Jericho Commission.
It is of utmost importance to prepare the participant’s family (if applicable) during this time. The family will be expected to cooperate with Jericho Commission, its mentors, and/or affiliated ministries during the pre-release period.
The participant will also be expected to attend any pre-release classes offered by the prison.