We constantly talk to inmates about the importance of the local church!
Aftercare is a very deceiving topic. What aftercare for an inmate really boils down to is a word we would term "before care." Aftercare starts in the jail before the inmate is released.
Anyone strong in the Word can go into a local county jail and hold Bible studies, but the key to restored, rehabilitated former inmates is aftercare. A strong term for aftercare is the local church in action. A ministry as large as ours cannot possibly follow up on every man/woman releasesd from the jail who has a desire to grow in the Lord, only the local church can do this.
Our Five Steps of Aftercare
First - We get pastors and laymen cleared to go into the jail to hold Bible studies so that the inmates will have a connection to a good church before they are released. We also use pastors and laymen to do individual counseling in the jails, once again cementing a relationship with a local church.
Second - Getting a job is not a problem for a released inmate; keeping a job is the bigger problem. We offer a complete course for the inmate on how to make an honest and impressive resume, how to present themselves at an interview for a job, the biblical aspect of working for their employer as if they were working for the Lord, how to dress, etc.
Third - While the inmate is still incarcerrated they sign a release that allows us to share their future home address and phone number with a pastor of a local church that is near their home and a church we believe will disciple them.
Fourth - Getting local church members into the home before the inmate is released benefits everyone. It is amazing what the appearance of Christians who care in the home of a released inmate can do to bolster them. An inmate once told us when we picked him up for church, "You really do care, don't you?" Be sure you check out the many inmate testimonials that follow this.
Fifth - Once loving Christians have surrounded the whole family it becomes much easier to get the released offender into a local church. This is probably the most import step in the rehabilitation process. Most released inmates don't have transportation of their own and when a local church member comes and picks them up for church it creates much needed bond and trust.