Prison Fellowship

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This article is about the United States organization. For the International umbrella organization, see Prison Fellowship International.
Prison Fellowship
Founded 1976
Founder Chuck Colson
Focus Prison outreach
Key people
Jim Liske, President and CEO
Slogan Changing Lives, Minds, and Communities through Jesus Christ

Prison Fellowship is a Christian prison outreach and criminal justice reform organization. Its programs reach prisoners, ex-prisoners, and families of prisoners throughout the United States and, through Prison Fellowship International (PFI), in 112 countries worldwide.[1]


Charles Colson founded Prison Fellowship in 1976 after spending 7 months in prison for obstruction of justice and becoming a born again Christian. In 2002 Mark Earley became the organization's chief executive officer. In 2006 Michael T. Timmis (chairman of PFI since 1997) succeeded Colson as chairman of the board.[2] James D. Liske became the CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries -including Prison Fellowship, Justice Fellowship and BreakPoint/The Colson Center for Christian Worldview - in 2011.[3] Craig DeRoche is the president of Justice Fellowship,[4] and Alan Terwilleger is the president of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview.[5]

Angel Tree[edit]

Angel Tree is a program of Prison Fellowship that reaches out to the children of inmates and their families. An estimated 2.7 million children have at least one parent in prison. Angel Tree provides an opportunity to connect with those families through a variety of year-round ministry opportunities, including mentoring and summer camps, with an emphasis on Christmastime gift giving.[6]

Operation Starting Line[edit]

Operation Starting Line (OSL) is a network of national, regional and state ministries and organizations working together to support prisoners, their families and the prison community through evangelism, discipleship and collaboration. The collaboration presently includes ministries and organizations that vary in size and focus, lending resources and expertise to both Operation Starting Line and America’s prisons. Operation Starting Line began as “Project Macedonia” in North Carolina. Aaron Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Corrections, invited Prison Fellowship to bring revival to the prisons of North Carolina. Its success opened the way in 1992 for Prison Fellowship to take in-prison evangelistic programs called “Starting Line” across the nation. This evolved into Operation Starting Line in 2000 as other ministries joined Prison Fellowship in ministering to prisoners. Since 2000, over 700,000 prisoners have been reached through OSL. The mission of OSL is “to seek the transformation of prisoners and their reconciliation to God, family and community through the power and truth of Jesus Christ. We operate as a collaborative network of ministries working together for greater impact.”[7]

InnerChange Freedom Initiative[edit]

The InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) is a proven, voluntary and holistic values-based Reentry Program. It seeks the development of the whole person – spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically. The spiritual formation aspect of the program is based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. IFI was started by Prison Fellowship in 1997. In 1999, IFI became a separate 501(c) (3) and now contracts with Prison Fellowship for staffing and support services. IFI operates in prisons in cooperation with the state. The state continues to provide food, clothing, shelter and security to the inmates while IFI staff provides the intensive program. This mission of IFI is to create and maintain an environment where change may take place and to foster respect for law and the rights of others. IFI's unique plan of restoration and progressive programming begins 18 to 24 months before an inmate is released. The program continues for an additional 12 months of mentoring and support once the inmate has returned to the community. Inmates volunteer for the program and must meet several criteria before they are accepted. IFI stresses personal responsibility, the value of education and work, care of persons and property and the opportunity for a new life. IFI is not a prison, but provides programming for prisoners to help them transform their lives and re-enter society successfully.[8]

Justice Fellowship[edit]

Justice Fellowship is the criminal justice reform arm of Prison Fellowship. Justice Fellowship mobilizes grassroots activists across the country and works with key state and federal policymakers to reform the criminal justice system according to the principles of restorative justice found in the Bible. The mission of Justice Fellowship is to reform the criminal justice system so that victims are respected, offenders are transformed and reintegrated, and communities are safer.

Colson Center[edit]

The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview is an affiliate ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries. Their mission is to grow and resource a movement of Christians committed to live and defend the Christian worldview.

BreakPoint, a daily 4-minute Christian worldview commentary, provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. BreakPoint airs each weekday on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly audience reach of eight million people. Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet are regular contributors and voices for BreakPoint.

The weekly “Two Minute Warning” with John Stonestreet can be found on this website This is a video commentary by John speaking to current and timely cultural issues. John also produces a daily one-minute radio commentary call The Point.

Both the BreakPoint and Colson Center websites feature commentaries and feature articles by other established and up-and-coming writers to equip readers with a biblical perspective on a variety of issues and topics.

The Centurions Program is an intensive biblical studies program that equips Christians to engage their church, community and culture with biblical truth. Over 700 commissioned Centurions have gone through this one year program as of 2011.

Teaching products such as The Faith, ReWired, Wide Angle, and Doing the Right Thing assist believers in teaching others to understand and apply the truths of Scripture in everyday life.


External links[edit]