Gospel course transforming prisons from within

Gospel course transforming prisons from within

Gospel course transforming prisons from within

A Christian-based course is reaching prisoners in dozens of countries.

In 2014, Prison Fellowship International launched The Prisoner's Journey, an eight-week course on the book of Mark that aims to draw people to a knowledge of Jesus and to a recognition of what He is calling them to do.

Van Patten, David (PFI) Van Patten

"At the end they graduate," details Prison Fellowship International spokesman David Van Patten. "Of those who take the course, about 75% go on into a discipleship program, which is obviously a really clear indicator to us that they've come to the conclusion that they want to follow Jesus."

More than a million prisoners have been reached, and nearly half have already graduated the program, with 140,000 already doing so this year.

Comparing prisoners who took the course to a similar group who had not, research conducted by Baylor University revealed that the study helped the former group shed their criminal identity and embrace a new meaning and purpose in life.

"This identity transformation then leads to what they observed as a growth in a set of virtues like gratitude and forgiveness and those kinds of positive virtues, and a reduction in negative feelings and aggressive behavior," Van Patten relays.

The program is currently being used in 39 countries, and PFI aspires to engage 20% of the 15 million prisoners worldwide in hopes of changing prisons from within and giving prisoners a biblical outlook to take with them when they are released.