can the church be better than prison?

Recidivism is very high in the U.S. because ex-convicts are treated so poorly by society. They have a very hard time finding legitimate work, renting an apartment, opening a bank account, or getting a driver’s license. Many of the basic things we take for granted are denied or made hard for them. A church serious about prison ministry will need to take practical steps to help parolees find a job, a place to live, transportation, etc. They need full communal support to get on their feet. Lacking that, they often wind up back in jail. Sometimes jail becomes the one organized, safe place. They know they will have food and a bed. If we can’t do better for parolees than choosing to go back to jail, we need to rethink things.