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Reaching the Children of Inmates

CEF is a Bible-centered, worldwide organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, disciple them in the Word of God and establish them in a Bible-believing church for Christian living.

So if we are a children’s ministry, why do we work with prisoners? Consider the following statistics:

  • 52% of men and 63% of women held in state prisons report having children under the age of 18. Without intervention these children are 6 times more likely than other children to be incarcerated at some point in their lives.

  • More than half of the 2.2 million adults incarcerated in state and federal prisons are parents of minor children.

Who is reaching these children for Christ? Some ministries have special events for these children but do not provide long-term discipleship. Discipleship can help decrease the percentage of inmates’ children who will follow their parents into prison.

Identifying these children can be challenging. Thus far the most effective way of finding them is through their incarcerated parents. We do this by visiting prisons and distributing our What Went Wrong? booklets during a worship service or in their living quarters. We also collaborate with many chaplains and other ministries who distribute the What Went Wrong? booklets as a supplement to their programs for inmates and/or their children. These booklets explain the Gospel and invite the inmates to trust Christ as Savior. The last page is an enrollment form for the Truth Chasers Club. This gives them the opportunity to enroll themselves as well as their children in the club.

Not only do we reach the children but the lives of the inmates are positively affected by the lessons. They become better people and better parents. Upon their re-entry into society, their relationship with their children is positively affected.

Our goal is to place a What Went Wrong? booklet into the hands of every inmate in America. Through the inmates we hope to reach their children and guide them down a different path so that someday they will not be behind bars themselves asking, “What went wrong?”

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