We find people who do what we do but apparently do it for profit. They will take in parolees and probationers, but they require the Reentry Citizen to surrender their WIC card, their benefits and to work for the site owner. This is not the appopriate way to help a person reenter society. It is a good way to force them to be dependent forever.
Our goal is to help the parolee reenter society, connect with family and friends, when possible and learn to make their own way in the world. We do not put them on some kind of farm and use them for cheap labor. One such labor camp has opened near one of our sites. We are watching the parolees work ten hour days, live in squalid conditions and lose hope. Please remember these men and women have been working in prison for practically nothing. This is part of their sentence. Our point is that this should not continue for life.
Please understand this; the prisoner has very little choice. He can qualify for parole but he cannot leave prison until he has a place to go, guaranteed for months. Chains of Grace offers transportation, save and affordable housing, food, medical care, Christian fellowship, job placement with Felon Friendly employers and a great chance of moving up the employment ladder, document retrieval and people who care. We meet all state requirements for housing. Our fellows and ladies work to enhance their own position in society.
We do not use our men and women for cheap labor. They do some household chores in the facilities we provide, but not more than taking out trash, picking up after themselves, running a vacuum or washing their own dishes. We do not run a maid service for them, but most of us (myself included) do not have a maid service.
When a lady or gentleman does some actual labor for our ministry, we pay them accordingly. There are some skilled workers who reside with us and who help us with their skills. We pay them for their work. We pay better than minimum wage each time and the wages belong to the worker.
One of our fellows has worked two jobs off site for some time, He has two children. The time he spent in prison did not relieve him of child support payments. They just accumulated over his years in jail. He has worked hard to catch up and his small program fees with us have made him able to use his money for his children. He is within three months of completely catching up with his child support payments, rung up while he spend six years in prison. Subsistence work on a farm somewhere would not enable him to catch up his payments. He could never return to society with this burden o
We intend to produce citizens, not slaves. We are not interested in taking advantage of these disadvantaged persons. When Jesus lauds those who visit the prisoner, He means to meet their needs, not to enjoy their imprisonment.
Help us make citizens, please.