From the Publisher
Over 600,000 inmates will be released from Americas prisons this year, returning to neighborhoods across the country. These men and women are coming out, like it or not.
What kind of neighbors will these returning inmates be? What has been done to prepare them to live healthy, productive, law-abiding lives? Each of us has a stake in seeing that these men and women make a safe and successful return to their communities. Yet, today very little is being done to help them make that transition successfully.
Most offenders will be returning from years in overcrowded prisons where they were exposed to the horrors of violence including homosexual rape, isolation from family and friends, and despair. Most are idle in prison; warehoused with little preparation to make better choices when they return to the free world.
Further, little is done to change the moral perspective of offenders. Most inmates do not leave prison transformed into law-abiding citizens; in fact, the very skills inmates develop to survive inside prison make them anti-social when they are released.
For prisoners to return to their communities safely and successfully, we need much more than government programs. Government programs cant love someone, only people can do that. This is one of the roles the Church is called upon to take in our communities: to minister to the least of these. This book explains why you and your church should become involved in helping returning prisoners, and provides practical ways to help.
About the Author
Pat Nolan is currently the President of Justice Fellowship, the criminal justice reform arm of Prison Fellowship. Justice Fellowship works to apply biblical principles to the criminal justice system.
For 15 years, Nolan served in the California State Assembly, for four years as the Assembly Republican Leader. He was a leader on crime issues, particularly advocating victims rights.
Nolan pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering, relating to a contribution his campaign received; he served 25 months in a federal prison and four months in a halfway house.
Today, Nolan is a leader on issues of justice and faith. Through lecturing, writing, and working to pass criminal justice legislation, Nolan is actively addressing criminal justice issues. He was recently appointed to the U.S. Prison Rape Elimination Commission by Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert.
Nolan and his wife, Gail, have three children: Courtney, 15; Katie, 14; and Jamie, 10.