Tag Archives: #violence

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Breaking The Cycle of Recidivism

Breaking The Cycle Of Recidivism…

Blameless and Forevet Free  Ministries Breaking The Cycle Of Recidivism

Breaking The Cycle Of Recidivism Helps More Than Our Offenders!

“Hi daddy, I miss you. How come you haven’t called in a long time?” “Oh, baby girl, we have coronavirus here in prison so we’ve been locked in our rooms [cells].”

“Eeewww… Mom, you’re right, daddy is sick and bad. They put him in time out, too.”

“I don’t want to speak to you anymore, daddy!”

Gut-punching words for a father to hear during a pandemic that has forced a traumatizing lockdown.

“Mommy, why doesn’t daddy visit me anymore?”

“Daddy, why doesn’t mommy love me anymore?”

“Nana, why do you say bad things about my daddy?”

(Don’t Hate, Rehabilitate!)

Confusing words flowing freely from the mouth of a six-year-old whose father was imprisoned when she was a little older than two.

A mother left to raise her child alone, full of fear, shame and exhaustion, doing everything in her power just to survive. Getting high just to get by. Drinking here and there asking why?

Her inability to cope causes her to forget the needs of the child during the trauma, leaving scars that will forever form her child negatively.

Every word of negativity, fear and exhaustion further confuses and scars the child throughout the experience of the event.

“A child’s well-being is intricately linked to his/her parent’s well-being.”

When hurt people hurt others, once an offender is arrested, brought to court, found guilty and then sentenced to prison, as a society we pretty much have determined that justice is served and prevailed in our criminal justice system.

Is that really the case?

I really believe all that does is perpetuate the cycle to re-offend and also starts a generational stronghold on the family unit where healing doesn’t take place.

Hurt People Hurt Others, But Healed People Heal!

Healing from traumatic life events, such as a parent’s incarceration, can take on many forms.

Over 5.7 Million Children In The United States Have Experienced An Incarcerated Parent

Incarceration also affects and imprisons those in the family, work and personal lives, including parents, significant others, and sons and daughters. And with the increase in mass incarceration, we’re all being effected in some manner.

With a growing U.S. incarceration rate, it means that an increasing number of children (the forgotten and innocent victims too numerous to report) experience the imprisonment of a parent at some point in childhood or adolescence causing more childhood trauma.

And according to the National Institute of Mental Health, childhood trauma is defined as “the experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.”

To make things worse, research also shows that parental incarceration negatively affects children’s educational outcomes and opportunities, according to the Sentencing Project.

Children’s Exposure to Parental Incarceration

Where there’s parental incarceration, this is considered an adverse childhood experience, which is defined as a potentially stressful or traumatic event that has lasting consequences for the child’s health and well-being.

Parental incarceration involves the removal of a father or a mother from the child’s household and/or daily routine. This removal is a traumatic incident for many children and may be accompanied by other corresponding traumatic experiences.

Rejection and abandonment issues arise developing fears and depression with the uncertainty in how long the parent will remain away.

Compassion Influences Culture

We can’t judge or hold back. If we do, we are robbing God of His blessings because we don’t know the unfolding of what their stories will testify to.

Removal oftentimes can be stigmatizing, too. This can produce shame leading to isolation that impedes social support systems, hinders interactions with both peers and teachers, along with children’s educational opportunities and outcomes.

A. Geller notes in “Paternal Incarceration and Support for Children in Fragile Families,” in the wake of parental incarceration, families experience a variety of challenges. These encompass economic insecurity, altered households and relationship dynamics and routines, changes in parenting, along with changes in parental health.

Given that most incarcerated parents, prior to their incarceration, were working, incarceration leads to an immediate decline in family income, an increase in material hardship, and an increased reliance on public assistance.

And unpealing further layers, there’s a significant correlation between childhood trauma and violence in the lives of those who are incarcerated themselves. Our incarcerated population have experienced their own traumatic childhoods contributing to their crimes.

Kingdom Influences Culture

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is leaning in to rehabilitate our incarcerated and community through kingdom influences and restorative justice by focusing more on the traumatic childhood experiences and awareness in reaching the oppressed, both in our prisons and after release at our re-entry program center, as we operate under our belief that God’s Great Love Changes Everything.

Breaking the cycle of recidivism not only restores, rehabilitates, and saves society money, but it makes our communities safer and brings healing to the known and unknown victims by ending this generational cycle of reoffending.

Hurt Lives Hurt Others, But Healed Lives Heal!

Until next time…

I Cried When I Was Denied…

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I Cried When I Was Denied…

But I Never Died!

The morning coffee buzz from being drunk on too much caffeine, along with the clanging plates from the waitresses rushing to cater to every need, drowned out the sobering convulsions conveyed from the beaten and burned beloved.

From rejected to accepted!

Cigarette burns and bruises to any part of your body is considered torture and abusive!

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Somebody is always listening…

If truth be told, I prefer my morning brew in the comforts of my own home, preferably in bed, along with my morning devotional time spent at my Lord’s feet opening up my Bible.  The sounds from Mr. Owl chiming in with his whoot-whoots as the orchestra of frogs rib-bit out a beat or two in sync with the birds’ melody who excitedly embrace their new day is more than a welcomed sound.

Today was different, though!  Tuesdays we do a Bible study for the homeless beloveds that would like to know how to experience this great love affair trusting and waltzing with the Lord after being abused myself.  I am writing this Bible study called God’s Great Love Changes Everything specifically catered to our homeless! 

After only receiving a couple of RSVPs for tonight’s study and the constant complaints delivered from being cold due to the night’s rain, chocolate chip pancakes and hot coffee seemed to be the menu topic initiated in a community text message about where dinner would be.  This quickly ushered us into meeting at iHop for breakfast along with the Bible study in lieu of dinner. 

Dinners are a rare luxury for the homeless population and Blameless is one of the few organizations that offers hot dinners twice a week.  Usually only breakfast and sack lunches are offered at shelters and churches, so I knew there was a great need behind this need for a breakfast meeting.

Blameless Need Behind Need

Between the noise, we settled in tight as the girls started peeling off their damp scarves and jackets to get warm.  I hadn’t noticed the bruises and lacerations on one beloved until she removed her many layers hiding more than emotional turmoil.  Once the injuries were in full view, I knew we needed intervention to figure out the best protocol to approach this behavior. 

Homeless women tend to be associated with domestic violence encounters because they’re used to living under the fight and flight mentality as a form of protection, no matter how distorted that may appear.  Having a buddy for comfort and protection helps fend off other violent attacks against the homeless along with assurances that their few bags of possessions will still be nearby when they awaken.  But the cost is often great!

This precious beloved shared how she just wanted to be held and comforted because she didn’t end up getting to talk to her son, who had promised to call her over the weekend.  This mama totally understands the love our children cover us with and the rejection that might follow. 

She shared how much she loved her son, but that she was so wrapped up tight living under her own veil of shame and living in the wrong hood (battlefield of the mind), that she just decided to pity party her own disappointment.

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If you’ve ever lived under the demands of abuse, you find yourself living, or surviving, under the confines of mental anguish.  Instead of seeing this pain as a process (a wake-up call to get out), you find it accepting as a permanent residence because you become isolated due to shame with no one to help you get up or out. 

You cried when you were denied, but since you never died, you become quite familiar and comfortable in the most horrid conditions.  When you live in darkness, being out in the light is frightening and quite startling.  Initially…

I shared with the girls how my pain turned into power when I realized that facing this Goliath of fear walking through it scared as hell was the only way to unlock the shackles.  The key was that it would take others to help pick me up each time I fell.  No more isolation. 

Taking baby steps ended the life being subjected to the multitude of abusers while living a life loved and yes, helping others.  That meant acting and living like who God says we are; His works of art! 

We cannot allow this process, being homeless and/or abused, to become our permanent spot.  Engaging in pity parties, having the mindset of a victim and denier, announces the need to break free from the toxicity of this environment. 

Yes, living a life filled with an outpouring of love and peace will be awkward and quite uncomfortable at first, but it will offer us freedom, along with our own tear-stained pillows and soft embrace from the protection and warmth that our own cozy blankets offer. 

I am choosing to honor my Lord by honoring the beloveds He has placed in my life.  I know the Lord will show me how to love others the way in which He loves me so that our faith will grow stronger and deeper in our hearts as we learn to trust in Him.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being

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