When we love one another, we remember we are not fighting for just ourselves, but we are fighting for humanity that the Word calls for in 1 John 4:7.
Did you know that, according to one Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, which surveyed adults across the U.S. in late June of 2020, 31% of respondents reported some form of mental health care symptoms and are in need of proper mental health treatment?
And with the largest mental health institution in the United States being our prison system, the sobering number of unmet mental health needs is heartbreaking.
The beloveds thatBlameless and Forever Free Ministries pours into may be imprisoned and/or recently released from state prison, but the connective tissue of true rehabilitation is in the transforming of one’s mind requiring relational community.
Every individual who has been incarcerated has a great need for appropriate mental health care treatment both during their incarceration and once released back into community.
Let’s face it, if you’ve committed a crime, there’s trauma behind it.
The Depth Of Our Pain Is An Indication Of The Pinnacle Awaiting In Our Future!
Everybody’s screaming for a different story right now, drinking and smoking more, through all the unknowns, the diseases, the division, and the despair from loneliness and death, but I’M NOT!!!
Honestly, I am suffering with my greatest health crisis ever right now, but my Lord doesn’t leave us to our own strength to conquer these summits alone. He simply asks us to trust and remember that when we’re weak, He is strong!
I admit, when the physical and emotional pain is unbearable and you literally can’t move, sometimes crying me a Noah’s Flood is the only thing moving in full force!
But the Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
The depth of our pain is an indication of the pinnacle awaiting in our future.
When we experience trauma, our trust in the world, our relationships, and ourselves are often broken. We heal in community and in relationship with others, not suffering ALONE in silence and isolation.
Blameless and Forever Free Ministriesis an ACEs-aware nonprofit organization, which is part of an initiative of the Office of the California Surgeon General and the Department of Health Care Services, offering Medi-Cal providers training, clinical protocols, and payment for screening children and adults for ACEs.
Together we are working to raise awareness about the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in hopes of building a healthier community and a brighter future for our children and future generations.
The importance of acknowledging our stressors of the past in order to thrive in the present along with practical tips to build greater resilience requires understanding how our earlier experiences influence our relationships today.
Prevention is intervention. We have to invest heavily into people’s lives and transform our prisons into healing centers! 95% of our incarcerated population will be released and will become our neighbors. If we want safe communities, we need to investNOW into their lives through rehabilitation programs leading to redemption. That requires prevention.
Blameless and Forever Free Ministries aims for Folsom State Prison to be an iconic symbol of healing and wholeness where all parties (incarcerated people along with staff) transform culture together through trauma-informed practices.
Our residents inside our prisons need healing and wholeness to overcome their addiction, their anxiety, their depression, and the anger caused by a childhood filled with the trauma of abuse, neglect and household dysfunction. This trauma we’re speaking of occurs before their 18th birthday. Our families are broken and this is where we get to change the paradigm and work proactively together.
Blameless was created to provide curriculum and programs that help break the cycle of intergenerational and systemic trauma and crime. With our prisons being in lockdown for almost a year, we have our work cut out for us once we’re allowed entry back into the prisons. Lives suffering in silence and isolation poses a threat to both the individual and the stability of the setting. Connection is vital to stable mental health.
When people learn what adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are, what the typical responses are to trauma, it helps them understand themselves; why they react instead of responding, those ugly, pesky triggers; that they’re not crazy; they understand their own feelings and their behaviors, which is part of the work we’re doing and what we’re trying to help them understand.
Our men and women in prison have the highest ACE scores. Amazingly, if you have four or more ACEs, you’re seven times more likely to be incarcerated in your lifetime. We can’t forget, these traumas occur before age 18; that’s catastrophic for everyone.
Even myself, I have a score of 7 ACEs out of 10. It was bythe grace of God ONLY that He turned my traumas and household dysfunction into vessels of love and healing to engage with and walk alongside of those who are hurting, abandoned, rejected and traumatized.
I also humbly did the work because I saw what trauma has done to generations of my own amazing family and I wanted this curse severed.
Somebody has to initiate CHANGE! I pray it’s you…
As I often share my own painful traumas, I am a survivor of violent crimes (yes, plural). I was married into law enforcement. I have been a commissioned chaplain since 2010, and I also had a son incarcerated due to his own deep hurts of anger brought on by trauma growing up. I’ve worn many hats on every side of this revolving door while working in the criminal justice system, but I refuse to hide underneath a mourning veil when there are lives in need of hope and healing.
There is no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name! And I pray relentlessly that you can understand that prevention is intervention and it starts with us, all of us, especially the Body of Christ, NOW!!! There’s no time to waste. Time is a valuable commodity.