Tag Archives: #transformation

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+13%3A3&version=NIV

Don’t Hate, Rehabilitate!

Don’t Hate, Rehabilitate!

When you’re surrounded for years with only other incarcerated beloveds and their criminal conduct, we wonder why our recidivism rates are so high!

Our prisoners need rehabilitation leading to transformation while they’re doing time for their crimes. Long-standing punishment without restoration is why two out of three offenders return back to state prison within three years after being released.

Hurt People Hurt Others!

Society will continue to pay with more crime, lives and homelessness if we do not step in and do more by intervening and moving them towards restoration, reintegration and redemption!

Embracing that today’s offender will be tomorrow’s neighbor supports the very core and mission of Blameless and Forever Free Ministries which is organized to reduce the recidivism rate, expand community safety and awareness, and disrupt the cycle of re-offending.

We need to do more! Introducing our incarcerated to Jesus by pouring His Great Love into their lives covers them with grace and motivation leading to transformation and a smoother transition back into society.

Reentry programs and the love of Jesus are a powerful tool for successful transitioning and are desperately needed in our prisons today. Otherwise, our incarcerated who have never dealt with what brought them to prison in the first place will be shackled with what they have picked up during their prison term: additional criminal conduct, habits and unhealthy behaviors that are being brought back into and infecting society.

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering (Hebrews 13:3).

Long-standing punishment has gotten us nowhere except for high recidivism rates. It’s time we start meeting and embracing our prisoners right where they’re at and pouring the love of Jesus into their lives. Their lives do matter!

Until next time…

Re-offending Lacks Relationship!

Relational Justice

Blameless Prison Doors

Relational Justice

When you think of offenders doing time for their crimes in state prison, what is your initial response?  Losers?  Criminals?  Drug addicts?  Who cares?

Who ends up in our prison system anyways?  Do we even care?  Or does our prison system take care of that for us? 

Being honest, I admit to being hypocritical; once considering them all vile through my own lens of judgment and condemnation until the Lord allowed a crisis to enter my own life to see who really exists inside this dark and dangerous dungeon. 

Their precious lives matter!

Realizing our prison system is broken and filled with the same repeat offenders, you know, the individuals who went to prison, served their time, got released, re-offended, and then goes back to prison and starts the whole process again; something needs to change.

If we’re all a part of each person’s contribution to society, good or bad, our hearts need compassion through awareness of what an incarcerated beloved goes through.

Being the founder of Blameless and Forever Free Ministries, I know personally who ends up in our prison system:  Hurt people!  Hurt people hurt others!  When wounds stemming from childhood traumas or other hurts are never healed, other vices/actions often become the crutch in dealing with triggers and pain that’s been holding them captive in a torturing cell of hell.

Imagine being shackled in your own cell of hell while serving time behind bars in prison. We’re not negating the pain these prisoners have caused to others, but we’re sharing being caged up like an animal without rehabilitation is only going to make wounded hearts hardened and calloused. This leads them to continue to hurt others, even inside the prison walls.

 

I’ve experienced personally what unhealed pain has caused; the tearing apart of my own family along with hurting another and their family all in the name of fighting.  My son is being released from Folsom State Prison this year.  He has completed serving time for his crime and considers his incarceration a blessing in disguise.

But is society going to accept him back into population with open arms as he transitions or are the flaming arrows and emotional daggers going to penetrate deeper into an already wounded soul through discrimination, obstacles and judgment?

Relational Judgment

What many beloveds don’t realize is what our prisoners go through once they’re released and why rehabilitation is not only vital for our incarcerated, but for society as a whole.

Without transformation from rehabilitation, the incarcerated will never receive the opportunity to succeed with the many obstacles they face, and society will continue to absorb the cost, monetarily and/or possibly with lives, producing more victims leading us nowhere except entangled in this vicious cycle of broken people.

Suffering doesn’t have to lead us to constant failures where frustration and bitterness develops, but it should lead us instead into creative forces for positive changes.  That is transformation.  It can’t take place with just the offenders solely through long-standing punishment, society needs to play a proactive, integral role in transformation.  We are all a part of the solution and need to change.

Transformation is a process, not an overnight conversion and/or purpose.  Changing the way we utilize our prisons so people come out rehabilitated and not worse than what led them there in the first place is vital in building and giving hope to our prisoners.

 

Blameless State Prison Grounds
 

How can we do this?

Being the founder of Blameless, I sure don’t have all the answers, but I’m proactively working with the incarcerated and governmental entities and community members to help find the need behind the need and set up a plan of attack to help contribute to the lives that need help. Blameless believes not doing anything due to fear of failure is not acceptable when many lives are at stake.

With my 20 years experience in the law field, being a chaplain, serving on Folsom State Prison’s Inmate Family Council along with sharing the gospel with the incarcerated and their families, Blameless is now transitioning its focus towards the rehabilitation side and reentry programs for the incarcerated.

This is Blameless’ contribution to help stabilize the homeless epidemic. Without rehabilitation, most offenders will end up either homeless adding to our homeless epidemic or back into crime leading to more prison time.

Public safety issues effect more than just the criminal justice system.  Our prison systems are working towards rehabilitation, but it’s going to take continual effort with changes thinking outside the box.  The old ways are not working.

I believe relational justice must include God and His Great Love serving as the anchor for everything built upon it and will change the way our prisons function.  We will focus on making our offenders emotionally healthier from the inside out with tools to become better than when they entered prison.  This is instrumental in successful reentry before they’re released.

Punishment is never going to work being the long-lasting solution. Yes, offenders need to do time for their crimes, with their punishment meeting their crime, but they should be allowed to change before they’re released. And once they’ve done their time, they should be accepted back into society.

What good is it for society, much less the offender, to be released back into communities where incapacitation and preclusion rules?

Punishment can no longer be the sole answer.  Rehabilitation needs to exist along with punishment. Rehabilitation requires love and action. The vast majority of our incarcerated are never visited and/or encouraged and supported to help facilitate healthy hearts and minds.

Many chaplains, churches and nonprofits, along with our state prison systems, are transitioning into focusing on rehabilitation and God’s Great Love, but we need an army to stand on the front lines with the oppressed and fight injustice.

If deterrence worked, our prisons would be empty.

Transformation is a process. The opportunities have to outweigh the many obstacles. Transformation starts with the offender.  It starts with the offender taking personal responsibility for their actions and deciding to change.  It’s hard to take that initiative when one is not loved and/or supported.  Families need to get involved along with society.

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Transformation through Application, Beautiful Be-Loved You! 2 Cor. 3:18

Thank you for being you, Beautiful Beloved!

To the many beautiful girlfriends who have ever crossed my path, whether endearing or painful, you have taught me so much that I am eternally grateful for!  This week’s blog is written through a grateful heart as I live out my faith in practicing what I preach because, one, I am celebrating the life God designed me to live out which requires the blessings of solitude incorporated with lots of girlfriend time in nurturing the new friendships and visiting the old ones; and also, if you didn’t catch this week’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays Blameless refreshedabout being still before the Lord and loving on ourselves, I encourage you to read the short blessing that this week’s post encourages because it’s all about taking care of US.  Click here.

Since I am in the process of trying to be still myself from the usual crazy schedule filled with all the demands and the many responsibilities, I’m going to embrace and cherish every moment of these brief reminders to remove the dross, the impurities that life and distance from the Lord starts to develop (Proverbs 25:4). 

I am making life-altering decisions right now and I don’t want the influencers of stress or lack of time in prayer and meditation to effect the decisions I am about to make.  This requires nothing short of devoted prayer and meditation, and that means being still before the Lord (Psalm 46:10) that is accomplished only through prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6)!  I don’t know about you, but the “meditation” part I struggle with BIG TIME!!!

Blameless Prayer and MeditationI was blessed to celebrate today with huge praises to the Lord in saving my girlfriend, “K,” you know that girlfriend that I scared the morphine out of, from having to undergo further treatment with her cancer battle.  She has allowed me to refer to her by her initial so you might relate to her on a different level. 

She shared her victory through many sorrows, many of which I can relate to. The one thing she made very clear was that many of her girlfriends she thought would be there were not; that she received such rejection, it felt as if she had the plague or something. And that others who she was too afraid to reach out to because of her own insecurities developed from the guilt and condemnation that came from others proved one thing:  We need each other. And when Blameless Jesus Reachingwe’re forced to be stripped down to offering nothing but our mere existence during our incredibly difficult and dark periods of pain is when God reaches down and offers His beautiful hand of love and strength through the support and care of others that will walk through the rest of our lives together.  

This bond will be incredibly difficult to sever and nurturing it is easy; this is true love and can be accomplished by others who see you through the eyes of Jesus! These friendships rejoice when others are being blessed and their prayers go unanswered. They love when it’s contrary to popular opinion. And these friendships hold up to the test of time by holding each other accountable for the sole purpose of love and encouragement.  We can receive and give back this love because we have experienced firsthand what it’s like to be loved and touched by the grace of God. 

I must admit, I am being stretched especially hard this upcoming month with making major decisions that are hard. My go-to is prayer and meditation, ballet, yoga, and walking in those brief moments of solitude with the Lord, along with intense prayer rituals with my beautiful girlfriends who care about my walk and who gaze at the nature of God with innocence and purity received through unveiled minds that complete surrender has developed. I can embrace these decisions with full confidence knowing I don’t have to control them and can claim victory through peace and gratitude like 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us:

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Let’s embrace this next week with all the love and support that the Lord so graciously blesses us with, while we concentrate on ourselves and our lives being immersed in the Word. Let’s give Him have all the ugliness that surrounds our hearts so we have plenty of room to bless others with love!  It’s really not that hard when we know and love Jesus Christ!

Blameless Judge

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!