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List of contributors
Table of Contents
This edited volume considers the impact of incarceration on the African American community and the biblical mandate for an intentional response from the church. The book features model ministries that address:
• Incarceration• Prisoner reentry• Care of families• Political advocacy around issues in criminal justice reform
Contributors include scholars, ministry practitioners, pastors, and formerly incarcerated individuals who offer a paradigm for "prisoner ministry" that goes beyond traditional worship and Bible study programs. They provide insight and practical strategies for developing an authentic relational encounternot only with prisoners but with their families, from the time of incarceration to the transition back into home, church, and society.
• Karen Swanson, director, Institute for Prison Ministries• Deborah Jackson-Meyers, founder and executive director, Breaking the Chain Foundation• Michael Smith, founder, Cross of Christ Ministries• Alfreda Robinson-Dawkins, founder, National Women's Prison Project, Inc.• Madeline McClenney-Sadler, founder, Exodus Foundation.org• Elwood Gray, president, National Coalition of Prison Ministries
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"Nearly every criminal justice expert acknowledges the disproportionate number of minorities that populate our nation's prisons and jails. This book doesn't merely lament that fact; it offers sound direction and biblically grounded ministry practices that can alter the future of those men and women caught in the web of incarceration. Written primarily to challenge African American churches to form healing communities of support for offenders and their families, it in fact sounds a call for all congregations that take seriously their mandate to 'remember those in prison.' Every pastor, along with anyone engaged in prison or jail ministry, should carefully read and prayerfully consider the principles presented in this book." W. Thomas Beckner, PhD, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Department of Criminal Justice, Psychology and Social Science, Trine University
"Ministry with Prisoners & Families will be important in helping to break the cycle of incarceration and recidivism, especially with the authors' focus on the family as a critical element. The book provides a realistic, practical approach to addressing the problem of incarceration that will restore lives, reunite families, and rebuild communities. It is a must-read for churches, reentry programs, and the corrections community." Rev. Carmen Warner-Robbins, MSN, RN, MDiv, FAAN, CEO and Founder, Welcome Home Ministries
"Finally, a book that equips churches to minister more effectively to those affected by incarceration! These authors give us the benefit of their many decades of experience and study. Learn from them before you begin your prison-related ministry. If you are already engaged in this kind of ministry, stop what you are doing and read this book." Joseph Williams, President, Christian Association for Prison Aftercare
"This book puts communities of faith on the front lines of a battle for the dawn of a new day. If you choose to read one book on the wretched state of the criminal justice system today and its devastating effects on the family and on our communities, especially among the poor, this book is a must have. The writers provide the church with unprecedented opportunities to rise up and offer the world the answers we have had alongthe truth of God's Word and the love of God's people." Dr. H. David Schuringa, President, Crossroad Bible Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Charles E. Lewis, Jr., MSW, PhD, is the President at Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy. He is also an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Social Work where he teaches a seminar in advanced policy analysis. Dr. Lewis is the president of the board of directors for the Mental Health Association of the District of Columbia and is a member of the Citizen's Advisory Committee for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections.
The son of a Baptist minister (the late Charles E. Lewis, Sr.), Dr. Lewis is a product of the African American church. He himself is a licensed minister who from 1989-1995 served as the Men's Ministry Coordinator under the pastorate of Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood at Saint Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY. His encounter with many African American males involved in the criminal justice system compelled him to return to school to complete his formal education in 1992 at the age of 42. After completing his BA in psychology and MSW in clinical counseling at Clark Atlanta University, he completed his Ph.D. in social policy analysis at Columbia University. His dissertation was titled, "The Negative Effects of Incarceration on Fathers in Fragile Families."
Dr. Lewis published an article in the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare from his dissertation and has written several book chapters on African American males and incarceration. He and Harold Dean Trulear published an article in Black Theology: An International Journal titled, "Rethinking the Roles of African American Churches as Social Service Providers."
Harold Dean Trulear is Director of the Healing Communities Prison Ministry and Prisoner Reentry Project of the Philadelphia Leadership Foundation. Designed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Healing Communities has been implemented in over 20 sites nationally, in partnership with such organizations as the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the Christian Association for Prisoner Aftercare and the National Women's Prison Project.
Dr. Trulear is an ordained American Baptist minister and serves as Associate Professor of Applied Theology and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Howard University. He also serves as a Fellow at the Center for Public Justice in Annapolis, MD. He is founding president of GLOBE (God Leading Our Best Efforts) Ministries, a youth services agency in Philadelphia and has taught religion, public policy and community studies in several institutions, including Yale University, Drew University, Hartford Seminary, Eastern University and Vanderbilt University.
A graduate of Morehouse College (BA) and Drew University (PhD), Dr. Trulear has authored over seventy published monographs, articles, essays, sermons and reviews, including African American Churches and Welfare Reform (Center for Public Justice) and Faith Based Initiatives with High Risk Youth (P/PV) and writes a bi-monthly column for Prism: The Alternative Evangelical Voice.
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