The Human Side of Crime
Covid has brought with it an uptick of trauma across our country and no more so than in our jails and prisons. In some prisons, covid hit 80-90% in 2021. We are helping to address this crisis through our Trauma Healing program.
Recently, we conducted an online prison ministry healing group and training for over a dozen leaders who minister in the prison setting. Over the course of a week, these key leaders went through a trauma healing group themselves and then continued the next week to receive training to lead future healing groups in jails, prisons and among returned citizens.
Trauma is real but so is secondary trauma for those who minister to those experiencing trauma. One of our leaders did an art exercise as part of the healing group which pictured the hundreds of deaths he had experienced in his career as a coroner and prison chaplain.
This same leader is running one of his healing groups during a criminal justice class he is teaching at an Indiana university. He feels these future law enforcement officers need to deal with their own trauma as well as be prepared for the trauma they will come up against in their profession. He wants them to “see the human side of crime” as he put it.
Another leader who is a retired aerospace engineer with over a decade of prison ministry experience plans to lead healing groups in a jail in Virginia. These groups will minister to both men and women inside.
As you pray for us this month, pray for:
- Our partner in Indiana who is leading healing groups among future law enforcement officers.
- Our Virginia partner to have open access to lead his healing groups in the jail.
- All the other leaders to follow through and run their healing groups in jails, prison, and among returned citizens.
Rich and Karin Esselstrom