On July 27th, during the 2012 Kairos Prison Ministry International Summer Conference, the KPMI Board of Directors decided unanimously to lead a fellowship of non-profits dedicated to developing and implementing best practices in the re-entry of Kairos participants from prison to society. This is a strategic step in helping the incarcerated to become loving and productive citizens of their communities.
In taking this action, the Board approved the recommendation of the Aftercare Sub-Committee, following the 2011 Summer Conference in Manchester, NH. This team is now the Re-entry Committee of the Board, and will lead the development of the Kairos Re-entry Fellowship for KPMI.
At this time, there is no generally accepted best practice for supporting prisoners as they re-enter society after serving their time. The five re-entry ministries represented on the committee have each taken a different approach to their work over the past two to eight years. But the Kairos Re-entry Implementation Plan they developed and the Board approved includes minimum standards for re-entry that will be met by ministries who join the fellowship. It also defines other best practices to be applied. It is understood that it normally involves a number of agencies to form the collective service of helping a prisoner transition to the free world. No one organization will, typically, do it all. It takes an array of organizations working in a coordinated partnership. This initiative will also produce best practices for how local collaborations should form and function together.
Providing these programs to Kairos participants has resulted in recidivism rates as low as 3%-11%, compared to the 30% to 60% reported in various studies. Kairos Chapters who are interested in working locally with a non-profit, or a non-profit group doing re-entry ministry or who may work with a new re-entry non-profit, can learn how to join the Kairos Re-entry Fellowship by contacting David Foster at email@example.com or (614) 537-0478.
Membership in the Kairos Re-entry Fellowship and endorsement of a re-entry program by Kairos Prison Ministry International, Inc. (KPMI), notes that the re-entry program meets the standards adopted by the KPMI Board of Directors. Continued endorsement of the re-entry program depends upon its continued application and upholding of these standards. Endorsement indicates that Kairos volunteers may collaborate with the program.
An endorsement of a re-entry program is a form of peer accountability, a biblical demonstration of caring for a fellowship engaged in service to God and our neighbors; however, it does not constitute oversight or management by KPMI. Kairos does not regulate such programs nor does KPMI assume any liability or responsibility for the actions of a re-entry program.
For more information, please contact KPMI Interim Executive Director, Tom Kemner (407) 629-4948 or visit the Kairos website at www.kairosprisonministry.org