Prison and Jail Ministry has been offered by the Diocese of Grand Rapids for over 40 years. Currently, the ministry serves 21 correctional facilities throughout our 11 counties. These correctional facilities include jails, prisons and juvenile detention centers. This ministry has over 150 active priests, deacons and volunteers who bring messages of hope to those affected by incarceration within our diocese. They bring these messages of hope through prayer, holy Communion, Bible study and the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
In addition to our programs within our facilities, Prison and Jail Ministry recently developed a new re-entry outreach ministry, GROW (Guiding Returning Citizens to Our World), for people returning from incarceration. GROW will help break the cycle of recidivism by educating parish communities on the spiritual needs and concerns of returned citizens and their families. GROW helps create welcoming faith communities through building awareness and relationships. Are you interested in joining our ministry? Please contact us at 616-475-1255.
Program Effectiveness Survey
In an effort to improve our ministry, we invite each of you, chaplains, program volunteers, returned citizens and friends of the ministry to complete this brief Program Effectiveness Survey
for the Prison and Jail Ministry by Friday, Sept. 3
. Your feedback is valuable and will help us better serve our incarcerated brothers and sisters while in prison and upon their return from incarceration.
Michigan Restorative Justice Council
The recently formed Michigan Restorative Justice Council (MRJC) continues to be the focus of the majority of our work in recent months. This council is an initiative of the 3rd annual West Michigan Restorative Justice Conference hosted and sponsored by us in 2019. This council is comprised of judges, lawyers, parole and probation officers, religious leaders, experts in restorative justice, elected officials, victims of crime and returned citizens. The council has researched restorative practices within Michigan and throughout our country. We have developed broad victim/offender mediation strategies that we hope will be converted by policy makers into statutory authority. This will allow stakeholders in the criminal justice system to universally implement victim/offender mediation at the various states of our criminal justice process.