Quarterly News Letter – April 2015
A Note from the Editor!
We want to say a special thank you to all of you who made time in your busy schedules to attend our Annual Breakfast Meeting earlier this month. We had a great time and the testimonies from Stephanie and Patrick were awesome. Their stories of past bondage and resulting incarceration being overcome through their faith in Christ was such a confirmation to all of us that our ministry and service is indeed a call from Jesus! To have had just a small part in their life transformations was a humbling experience. Every one of you has had a share in that transformation through your prayers, volunteer service, and financial support. It was all worth getting up early on a Saturday morning, don’t you think?
Marana (MCCTF) is one of 45 state prison facilities in Arizona and is located in Marana, just about 100 miles south of Phoenix.
It is a minimum custody private prison under contract to the State of Arizona and provides alcohol and substance abuse rehab treatment to 450-500 prison inmates. The contracted management company is Management and Training Corporation of Utah (MTC). In addition to Marana, MTC also operates Kingman State Prison under a contract with AZ DOC.
MTC operates 25 correctional facilities in eight states (Corrections is big business). And believe it or not, MTC is also the largest operator of the US Dept. of Labor’s Job Corp program. I wonder if there is any logical connection there! Their 25 correctional facilities house an excess of 31,000 offenders around the country.
MTC has been accredited by the American Correctional Association, stating that MTC facilities exceed the national standards for correctional facilities and have state-of-the-art safety and security policies and procedures!
Your Tax Dollars at Work!
AZ Inmates Make Community Contributions
Many employees are required to wear uniforms to the office, but those worn by most of the workers at the Borderlands Food Bank warehouse in Nogales stand out: orange shirts tucked into orange pants, both stamped with the letters of the Arizona Department of Corrections.
The inmates from a low-security state prison in Tucson haul produce around on forklifts, break down cardboard boxes, sort vegetables, enter data and even paint. The food bank is not alone in using inmate labor. In Sonoita, AZ, inmate crews have done custodial, maintenance, and landscaping work around the Justice court, roadside restrooms and the local parks and baseball fields.
In addition, AZ DOC uses crews to clean up trash and weeds along county highways. The work crews were recently honored for the work they have been doing in Southern AZ. Their supervisors have high praise for the inmate workers. “They are just people who have made mistakes..they have multitude of talent and they are wonderful, hard-working people.”
And some good news for the inmates: Gov. Ducey just raised their minimum wage from .50 cents an hour to $1.50 an hour. No cash changes hands, of course! The pay checks are deposited to the inmate’s credit at the AZ DOC run commissary stores, or put in trust to cover their “Gate Fee” on release.
From the Heart of an Inmate
Hi, my name is C______. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with a man by the name of Jim, which to my knowledge, turned out to be a complete accident. However, for whatever reason this strange occurance happened. I am thankful I got the opportunity to meet him and to this day I feel as though it was meant to happen. Jim explained a lot to me that day and one thing that held with me was that if I had any question I should write them and ask away. Well, that is why I am writing this letter today.
Upon my visit with Jim, he spoke of a “Discipleship Program,” and a little about a program called Church on the Street. If possible, I would like to receive all information on how to enroll in these programs. Before leaving me, Jim did give me a few testimonies to read over and to say the least, the individuals they came from shocked me! If men like that can receive the Lord’s blessing then all I can do is try!
The few months that I have been incarcerated, have already brought the burden of a thousand life times upon me. It has already cost me my job, fiance, children, loved ones to turn on me, and much more. When I think sometimes, all I feel is aloneness and abandonment. Keeping faith is very challenging, but if I do know one thing, Jesus has already forgiven me by dying on the cross for my sins and for others and for that I am thankful! The journey in front of me seems as though it will be long and bumpy, but hopefully with your help and the Lord holding on to me, I can make it. I’m sure going to try. I can’t afford not to. I have no where else to go.
I want to thank Jim for being there for me.
Inmate, 4th Avenue Jail
Here are some more letters I think you will find to be a blessing and encouragement to you, as they were to us!
- There are no words that can ever express my greatfulness (sp). I thank everyone at the ministries. But even more than the outcome of my trial, I thank you for each lesson and every word of encouragement. I remember when I looked at this course and said I could never finish—it was 18 books. Now, with only two remaining, I have tears of joy. I will be fine because I’m not lost anymore. I use to be afraid to speak to others about Jesus, but now I do it every day. What I’m trying to say to you and everyone at the ministries is I’m not lost any more and your work has made it so. Thank you for taking care of so many lost sheep, and thank you for taking care of me. The jury is out; I will let you know the end of the chapter. God will guide them in what they do and I will do whatever it is God wants me to do. (Inmate, Lower Buckeye Jail, Maricopa County, AZ)
- God has opened my heart and helped me to let go of all the anger I had in my heart. I’m truly blessed and thankful for the good people at Prisoners of Hope Ministries. Thank you for getting me back in touch with God and Jesus. (Inmate, Towers Jail, Maricopa County, AZ)
- My life was a mess, a broken home, lost, a bad drug addiction. I went into Pharmacy as a profession; I was miserable and alone. Nothing worked. I surrounded myself with other drug users, strippers and found few friends. I’m in jail! I have more hope and love in my life than ever. I reached out to mend my broken home with the strength the Lord gives me; everyone is hurting; its amazing how He works. He heals!! I’ve—I don’t know, I’m just so greatful. My prayers now are to return to my family and hopfully they can see my change and follow and live with Christ so we can be in heaven together. They need love and peace. (Inmate, 4th Avenue Jail, Maricopa County, AZ)
- I want to thank you guys for the birthday card. That was very kind and thoughtful. It really got me thinking about my life and how much it has changed since I gave my life to the Lord. Getting the card got me out of the slump I was in….I just want to say thank you for what you guys are doing. It really does mean a lot to me and I’m sure the other brothers and sisters as well. I’m starting to learn more about the Lord and to feel better about it. I’m no longer ashamed to talk about God or to tell people that I am a Christian. (Inmate, Saguaro Correctional Ctr, AZ)
- I would like to ask you guys if you can pray for me and my family. To make a long story short I will tell you that I did offended agains my family and I just lost contact with them. I pray everyday that the Lord bless them and protects them and some how the most important that they can turn to Jesus Christ so they can be saved. Maybe some day they can find in their hearts to forgive me. I’m guilty of my crimes. I did sin aginst God and my family. I did confesed to Christ Jesus my sin and I repented and ask Him to be my Savior and I have faith that He has forgive me. I am trying to live my life doing what is acceptable in God’s eyes. It has been hard, but I know the Lord has forgiven me and He is with me on every step I take. Please keep my family and myself in your prayers. (Forgive my writing, as you can tell English is not my first language but I try my best). (Inmate, Central AZ Correctional, AZ)
- Indeed it has been a while since you had heard from me…still trusting and believing in the Almighty! I want to thank you for the card you sent me and for all the kind words you say to me…it never seems to fail, every time you have some kind words to share with me or a scripture to share with me, it was always when I need it the most. Thank you. (Recently Released (Pray))
- This study and all the others I’ve done has brought me closer to God and Christ. My life will never be the same! Thank you, friends at Prisoners of Hope, and Thank You God! (Inmate, 4th Avenue Jail, Phoenix, AZ)
- I want to say thank you for all the wonderful things you do for convicts like me. I really needed some type of direction in my life and since I was referred to Prisoners of Hope I can honestly say that I look forward to the future. I was raised in a Christian family, but I started drifting away from the Lord when I started commiting crime. Being introduced back to the Lord has taken a tremendous weight off my shoulders and I have started to live as a Christian once again. (Inmate, Eyman State Prison, Arizona)
(I shared more letters than I normally would, but you need to know the impact you are having on the lost! These men are talking to you! To each one of you who pray, support, work and encourage. Thank you)
1st Quarter Activity Report
The dessert was in the letters we shared; now for the meat and potatoes. These numbers represent the daily activity of the ministry!
- The office staff responded to 245 first time inquiries and questions about the studies during the past three months;
- And they processed 1,320 student exams and prepared corresponding grade reports, offering memory verses, scripture promises, and prayers, as requested;
- Registered 133 new students (current student census is 509 active students); and
- Distributed 948 bibles to Arizona prison chaplains
- Our volunteers conducted 122 personal counseling sessions at the local county jails
- And conducted 18 worship services
Whew! Now we are tired and Iwe have to go take a nap!! Again, we thank you for your support. God is Almighty and He is Awesome. Over the past few weeks we have come to a greater understanding of 2 Cor 12:9 –My grace is sufficient, for My strength is made perfect in your weakness. The physically weaker we become, the stronger is God’s grace and power in us.
Have a blessed week! Let the light of Jesus’ love shine through you
Jim and Carol Carper, Co-Directors
Prisoners of Hope Ministries, Inc.