Our ministry takes in criminals. We work with men and women, providing reentry services and supervision for those returning to society after incarceration. We do not accept persons who insist they are innocent because innocent people will not do well surrounded by our criminals.
From time to time, one of our residents will be found innocent of charges for which he or she served significant time. There is a reason Lady Justice is depicted as blind. We are going through this with one of our fellows right now. He has been exonerated of his crime but the state has not yet agreed to expunge his record even though they admit he did not commit a crime.
My point in this post is really just to say the criminal acts committed by our residents took them to prison. We do not accept persons as residents in our program if they minimize or deny their guilt. Again, innocent people do not belong with us. We minister with real criminals who have done hard time.
So, though we are most sympathetic to returning citizens, we do not make light of their criminal actions. Crime is not a heroic act.
The heroism we see is the hard work of these men and women as they seek to return to society. They understand they cannot live as they once lived, unless they want to risk returning to prison. I do not want to seem crude, but our folks just almost eat dirt to regain some place in society. They work very difficult and menial jobs, they pay their parole fees, they attend group and individual counseling. More than a few return to school.
And all of them make some effort to reconnect with family. I don’t mention names in this space unless specifically allowed to do so. One beloved brother told me last week he had managed to talk to his daughter for the first time in seven years on Christmas day, 2018. Please imagine the courage needed to put yourself in line for rejection by a loved one because you did something to lose your family’s trust.
We do not romanticize crime at Chains of Grace. We do try to help people as they do the heroic work they must do to reenter society as productive citizens.
To learn more about us, go to our website: www.chainsofgrace.org
If you wish to donate to our work, there are Donate boxes on our website where you can easily click and follow the prompts to support our work. Please consider making the commitment to support us monthly, but only at an amount you can really afford.
If you are like me and write checks, send a check to our hard address:
Chains of Grace
PO Box 1344
Midlothian, TX 76065