Aftercare
Ministry

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.   
       
 
Wings Of Eagles Ministries, Inc.
Malaga Camp
Newfield, NJ  08344
856-305-1299
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Wings' Blog

What exactly IS Aftercare, especially in regard to newly released prisoners, and what is the best way to accomplish the task? It' a question I pondered for many years, thought of things and ways to do it effectively, and tried many of them. Some worked and some didn't. Finally after six years of intense in-prison ministry, the Lord moved me to North Jersey, just outside of Newark to work with released men and their wives, men I had taught and counseled while they were incarcerated. I remained in that areas for seven years, and tried many different approaches. One thing I learned for sure...pre-release (before parole) is useless, ...it is live-in, state supervised and not a real test of a  man's ability to make it with some supervision, some freedom to make choices.

 
Letter from an NJ State
Parole
Officer


A Letter From A Retired Prison Chaplain

A Letter From An Ex-Prisoner

The idea of live-in has always been a prevalent attitude and goal among people related to prison ministry. In New Jersey, I don't see it able to be done by Christians with no state backing. And, I am not in favor of state backing...funding can be cut off in a heart beat, and as far as I am  concerned, accepting state funds is unbiblical. What God calls into being, He will direct and fund. While "experimenting" in the years up north, I hit upon a way that worked well. This is how I did it: I found a rooming house that would accept them, and underwrote the cost, about $90.00 a week)...I found a diner that would provide them two meals a day, I would settle up at the end of the week. I purchased them a three zone bus card which gave them mobility. If they lost it or sold it, tough. Most did not.

Their responsibility to Wings was to keep up the devotional pattern they had established in prison, keep a journal which I provided, meet with me once a week for accountability, attend our weekly Bible study which was made up of former prisoners and their wives.  Usually they had AA or NA meetings to attend two or three times a week, their bus card would get them there. They were encouraged to register with the local Division of Vocational Rehabilitation for school or training, some testing, etc. and the local VA office is in the same vicinity and they were encouraged to go there also. The primary thing was establishing myself with the local Parole District...very critical and very difficult. I had to earn my way, and prove (unspoken) myself and abilities to the officers that would be overseeing the men I was assisting.

Part of this presentation on aftercare includes a letter written on my behalf, to my Board of Directors by the Senior Parole Officer I worked with...my severest critic for awhile. The program I have outlined was for three months, provided most of what they needed and the majority found work within that three months and got on their own. The cost to Wings of Eagles? About $1000.00 per man for the three month period. I believe it worked because most of the men knew me from the prison, had some trust in my judgment, were subsidized but still had a measure of freedom to make some choices, and knew where to go if they needed help or advice. A lesson I learned was that God is ALWAYS a good God, but He's not "easy"...I had to learn to be objective and no nonsense...and to not be emotionally hurt by men that walked away or refused to comply. Big lesson for all of us as we serve the Lord in fields such as this. 

 
 
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