Quarterly Newsletter – May 2016
Greetings and many, many thanks to all of you for your encouragement, your prayers and your financial support. I can’t say it enough! You are all a Blessing
From the Editors Desk
I just want to share a “small” personal lesson I learned earlier this month. On this particular morning, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and bemoaning the amount of work that lay before me. It was becoming overwhelming. As is my custom, I had my bible in my lap and a cup of coffee in my hand. I sipped at the coffee and found it pretty weak. I heard a voice speak: “The less water, the stronger the brew.” I looked around and no one was there, but the voice came again—the less water, the stronger the brew! Then I recognized the Voice. It was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. And this time, He elaborated, speaking to me in my spirit. “You are the water! I am the Brew! The less of you—the stronger is My presence in and through you.”
No wonder my burden felt so heavy! I was attempting to carry it on my own. The Holy Spirit was present that morning to remind me—I am the Vine; you are the branch. Without Me, you can do nothing. Now, every morning, when I pick up that cup of coffee, it is a visual reminder—less of me; more of Him. What a faithful and awesome God we serve!
(In conjunction with Home Builder Association of Central Arizona, the Dept of Corrections has begun a program of job fairs on hand-picked prison yards as part of their Release Preparation. Listen to this story.)
This is a praise report! For the very first time this prison where I am at had a real job fair. We had interviews right here in prison for job placement on our release. I went to the interview in prayer and got a JOB!! Now I will not have to worry about finances when I leave. I am at a loss for words! Imagine! They just start this program and then choose this Prison Complex to begin. Glory be to the One True God—my Jireh!
I found God in prison through your ministry; I learned more about relationships; learned a trade in HVAC; and got my AA degree in Technical Studies; and actually have a job. I have achieved more in prison than I ever did on the outside. Our God is an awesome God and He reigns
I love Jesus, my Christ, and I want to thank you for praying for me and God for teaching me through you. You surely are storing your rewards and treasure in Heaven.
Inmate, Safford State Prison
Prison of the Month:
We want to give you an update on the situation at the Kingman Prison. You will remember that there was a riot there last summer and hundreds of inmates were evacuated and temporarily housed in facilities around our state and also in New Mexico.
It took over nine months to repair the damage at the Hualapai Unit at Kingman, but in late March, the big “refilling” began. The decision was made to create a special “sex offender” unit at the old Hualapai Unit—a unit now called “Huachuca.” It was not just a name-change. The prior operational contractor, Management Training Corp., has been replaced by the GEO Group, another private prison management corporation that operates a total of four prisons in Arizona. Arizona Dept of Corrections entered into a contractual agreement with the GEO Group to manage the Kingman facility. The contract runs until 2023, at a tune of $72 million a year. This equates to $60 per day per each of the 3,300 inmates expected to be housed there.
As you can imagine, the local communities of Kingman and Golden Valley had multiple concerns.
- What if sex offenders released from Kingman decide to stay in the area? “Won’t happen,” says DOC! As the release date nears, the inmate will be transported to a facility outside Mohave County for processing!
- Will sex offenders participate in work programs outside the facility? “Not to worry,” says DOC! All sex offenders are classified as “medium” security. Medium security cannot participate in off-site work programs.
DOC spokespersons assured the community that the GEO Group has a successful track record of managing sex offenders.
Who, or What is the GEO Group?
The GEO Group, Inc. (GEO) is the world’s leading provider of correctional, detention, and community reentry services with 104 facilities, approximately 87,000 beds, and 20,500 employees around the globe. GEO’s facilities are located in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa.
The largest customers of GEO’s services are the US Bureau of Prisons and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Australia is GEO’s largest overseas revenue source. GEO’s in-house transportation division, GEO Transport, Inc. (GTI) provides armed, secure transportation to federal, state and local government clients in the United States and internationally. Another subsidiary of the Corporation is BI Incorporated.
BI Incorporated is the U.S. leader for offender monitoring products and services that help federal, state, and local agencies monitor parolees, probationers, pretrial defendants, and illegal aliens involved in the U.S. immigration court process as they live in the community. Agencies use these products and services for both juveniles and adults. The products include GPS tracking systems
that are typically reserved for high-risk offenders; Alcohol monitoring systems, including Continuous Alcohol Monitoring and mobile breath alcohol devices; and Electronic monitoring products that monitor curfews and schedules.
Arizona facilities that are currently under contract operation with GEO include Kingman, Central AZ Correctional Facility in Florence, Florence Prison’s West Unit, and Phoenix West State Prison in South Phoenix.
News and Updates
- It is with a saddened heart that we report to you that our dear friend and Board Member, JoAnn Reed, responded to God’s invitation to join Him and Larry, JoAnn’s husband, at the feet of Jesus in Heaven in mid-March. JoAnn served on our Board for two years and was a constant source of encouragement to us all, and especially to me, personally. We will all miss her greatly!
- But God never leaves a void! We are delighted to welcome Twila Tomlinson, who has graciously agreed to fill that empty chair. Twila was a supportive partner with us on the Gate Greeter Project throughout the duration of that work. We have fond memories of those traveling adventures, don’t we, Twila?
- We also want to say welcome aboard to Becky Orlando, who has joined our able and compassionate teaching staff.
- Becky’s mother, June, didn’t want to be left behind and she has accepted the position of what we call the “Birthday Girl!” For the last four years, we have honored each student on their birthday with a card from all of us. Jane Cockrum was our very first, and until now, our only Birthday Girl, but due to health concerns has felt it necessary to turn in her pen and postage stamps! Thank you so much for the support you have given to our students, Jane. We get many comments and heartfelt thanks for those cards.
- Carol was invited to address the Church on the Green Women’s Ministry Missions Luncheon in February. It was a great privilege and we enjoyed it very much. Carol had to envision her audience garbed in orange jumpsuits in order to feel right at home. She got a bit carried away, and demanded that no one leave their seats during the presentation, and that all hands would be visible on the tabletop. J The highlight of the presentation was a soul-stirring video of a recent water baptismal service at Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy! God’s Hand is not stopped by a barbed wire fence!!
Quarterly Report Statistics
- At the end of March, we recorded a student census of 582 active students. We mailed out 259 responses to first-time requests, and registered 131 new students.
- A total of 1,447 bible study books were distributed.
- At the request of Arizona Prison Chaplains, 288 bibles were provided for their distribution to individual inmates.
- 105 personal counseling visits were provided to inmates in the Maricopa County Jail System.
- Our volunteers conducted 50 worship services in four jail facilities. The attendance count for these services numbered 887.
Now it is time to let our students speak. Don’t ever forget that these letters may come in our mailbox, but they are for each one of you personally.
- Dear Global, I came to prison in July of 2014; turned my life over to the Lord in October and got baptized in November. What a blessing! I’m a new person with a new heart. I am free. God has taken away my addiction to drugs. He has been so good to me, what an awesome feeling. I ask you to pray for me as I weave my way through this evil place.
Inmate, Eyman State Prison, AZ
- God has blessed me with peace and happiness I never thought was possible! I have never been happy any of my 50 years because I was always addicted to something—alcohol or drugs and all the so-called pleasures that went with them. I know now that it was all the devil’s life. Now I am sober and have accepted Jesus as my Savior and King. I am truly living! Better late than never!!
Inmate, Yuma State Prison, AZ
- I asked you to please pray that my daughter finds it in her heart to forgive me and to find her way out of drugs and back to the Lord. I asked for her to write me as it had been over 1.5 years since I last heard from her. God answered our prayers! I got a letter last week PTL!! She is doing good and is clean and expecting a baby. God is so great—Thank you and God bless you all
Inmate, Perryville State Prison, AZ
- I so enjoy your bible studies! I have been doing these studies for about one year, less the span of time I was hospitalized. God bless you all for the time and effort you put into all of us; you don’t know what your personal touch means to us.
Inmate, Perryville State Prison, AZ
- Thank you for this study of God’s Word. I love the study. I thank the Lord that He opened my eye everyday now. I have come so far with God’s help. I hope and pray that one day I will grow into Christian leadership in God. Thank you and God bless you!
Inmate, Tucson State Prison, AZ
- I am sorry I haven’t sent my bible study in; I’m going to prison next month. I got sentenced to 22 years. I know it’s a lot, but I’m going to be OK because I have the Lord with me and He is everywhere I go. I’ll be 44 years old when I get out so I’ll still be young. Please keep me in your prayers. My daughter is only two years old. Please pray that our relationship may grow in the best way. I love her so much and I wish she can forgive me for missing out on her life.
Inmate, Maricopa Co Jail, Phoenix
- He woke me up; He gave me life. I’m living in His grace. He’s enlarged my family.He’s taught me to love. He’s protected me; He’s fed me; He loves me; He forgave me!
Inmate, Maricopa Co Jail, Phoenix
That pretty much says it all, don’t you think? Never, ever think that you are not making an impact on individual lives! No one, no matter their crime, is too far away not to be touched by God’s Mercy!
Thank you! Thank you!
Jim and Carol Carper
Prisoners of Hope Ministries
PO Box 428
Youngtown, AZ 85363