Prison Interchange Ministry Fellowship Reduces Recidivism Rate









Prison Fellowship

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Special Proclamation Prayer for Today

Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

Your Word declares that if we, Your people, who are called by Your name, will humble ourselves and pray and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, then will You hear from heaven and You will forgive our sin and will heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

We bow before Your sacred throne and humbly ask Your forgiveness for the sin of idolatry! Your word demands; “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me”, yet we have, under the banner of pluralism and hedonism, embraced and worshipped the gods of this world. Take us back to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! (Exodus 20:3)

Through moral and spiritual compromise and complacency, we have allowed our nation to conform to the ways of the world by turning away from our spiritual roots found in Your Word. (Romans 12:2)

Our silence has produced a secular nation and all nations that forget You, shall be forsaken. We ask that You hear our cry, for we need You, in these desperate times, to lead us out of our politically correct fog of constant confusion and take us back to Your moral clarity. (Psalm 9:17)

O Lord our God, King of the Universe, we confess that America cannot survive without Your presence. Your statutes founded this blessed land and we look to You, Father God, to preserve it, for “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12)

As commanded in scripture, we pray for all who are in authority who govern our nation; may their decisions be led by the perfect compass of your Holy Word which clearly discerns right from wrong. (I Timothy 2:1-3)

O Lord our God, You have promised to raise up righteous leaders into high places and to remove those who have displayed unrighteous authority. We earnestly pray that You will once again exalt the righteous and expose the deeds of the ungodly. (Proverbs 14:33-35)

America must have spiritual renewal for moral survival! In this season of prayer, we unite in humble heartfelt hope and ask that You forgive us and deliver us from the folly of our transgressions. Guide and sustain our nation as we turn from our sin and return to You, the God of our fathers. (Psalm 51:1-17)

The time has come to declare our trust in You to heal our land. (2 Samuel 22:2-4; Psalm 5:11-12; Psalm 57:1-3)

We pledge to exercise our God given rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in voting for future leaders from the county courthouse to the White House who obey and honor Your Word. (Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 119:44-48; Psalm5:11)

We pledge to vote the Bible in selecting those that will govern our country. (Deuteronomy 16:18-20)

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, for You are good and Your mercy endures forever. We petition heaven with our united prayers as we seek Your blessing, Your peace and Your protection for America. (I Chronicles 16:34; Numbers 6:22-26; Romans 15:13; Psalm 5:11)

May the Lord our God, be with us, as He was with our forefathers; may He not leave us or forsake us; so that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways... that all peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. (1 Kings 8:57-60)

Amen

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IFI Interchange Ministry



IFI-Interchange Ministry

"Campaigning for Non-Votes"

Sam Brownback Goes to Prison

February 27, 2007

Thus,there's hardly a potluck dinner or a PTA meeting in either state that won't be graced by the presence

of at least one would-be presidential candidate. Even in the era of the "perpetual campaign," there are some

places, where you don't, however,expect to find possible presidential candidates. One of them used

to be inside a prison. I said, "used to be," because Senator Sam Brownback (R) of Kansas, has established

a presidential exploratory committee.

Brownback spent the night in a 7-by-10-foot prison cell. He called his night "a little rough," adding,"

I didn't sleep the best." Obviously, Brownback didn't spend the night at Angola for the accommodations.

Nor did he do it as some kind of campaign stunt.

As he put it, "There was an opportunity to "promote religious-based efforts to curtail violence

and provide prison inmates with an alternative to crime once—or if—they got out." Brownback told reporters,

"We don't want to build more prisons in the country [and] we don't want to lock people up, We want

people to be good, productive citizens. "Not only do these programs make a difference after release,

they can also make a difference before prisoners are released. Angola's warden, Burl Cain, has credited

"a drop in violence" to these kinds of programs. That's why he and other corrections officials and Inmate

Fellowship programs support them. It's not often that you hear a possible presidential candidate saying,

"We don't want to build more prisons in this country," or that we're not addressing the "problems and

needs" of prisoners.

In fact, I can't recall any presidential candidate ever saying anything like this.

(And let me add),

I don't endorse political candidates, and I am not doing so now, though I think the world of Brownback.

Knowing Sam as I do, I'm not surprised that he spent a night there. He has been a strong supporter

of the Inner Change Freedom Initiative launched by Prison Fellowship in his home state and has

stayed in those prisons as well. A practicing Roman Catholic, Brownback understands that a Christian

worldview isn't bound by the categories that have rendered American politics empty and stale.

Instead, he puts his faith into action, following in the great tradition of William Wilberforce, the

English parliamentarian and a hero of mine who led the crusade to abolish the slave trade. Like Wilberforce,

Sam knows that the way we treat the "least of these" in our midst is how we measure the quality

of our society.

Ironically, on the same weekend that Brownback spent a night in jail promoting faith-based programs,

the New York Times published a grossly misleading attack on the Innerchange Freedom Initiative.

The contrast between competing visions of the common good couldn't have been more stark: The Times

ignores real-world results in order to maintain its slanted version of separation of church

and state. Brownback, while also committed to this separation, insists that it doesn't require the

"removal of faith from the public square." Not unless your goal, that is, is to build more jails.


Prison fellowship links to further information on today's topic

Teach the prison ministry



Teach the Controversy from prison ministry By: Stephen C. Meyer Cincinnati Enquirer March 30, 2002

When two groups of experts disagree about a controversial subject that intersects the public school

curriculum students should learn about both perspectives. In such cases teachers should not teach

as true only one competing view, just the Republican or Democratic view of the New Deal in a

history class, for example. Instead, teachers should describe competing views to students and explain

the arguments for and against these views as made by their chief proponents. Educators call this

“teaching the controversy.” Recently, while speaking to the Ohio State Board of Education, I suggested

this approach as a way forward for Ohio in its increasingly contentious dispute about how to teach

theories of biological origin, and about whether or not to introduce the theory of intelligent design

alongside Darwinism in the Ohio biology curriculum. I also proposed a compromise involving three

Main Provisions:

(1) First, I suggested--speaking as an advocate of the theory of intelligent design--that Ohio not require

students to know the scientific evidence and arguments for the theory of intelligent design, at least not yet.

(2)Second Instead, I proposed that Ohio teachers teach the scientific controversy about Darwinian evolution.

Teachers should teach students about the main scientific arguments for and against Darwinian theory.

And Ohio should test students for their understanding of those arguments, not for their assent to a point of view.

(3) Finally, I argued that the state board should permit, but not require, teachers to tell students about

the arguments of scientists, like Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe, who advocate the competing

theory of intelligent design.

There are many reasons for Ohio to adopt this approach.

First, honest science education requires it. While testifying before the state board, biologist Dr.

Jonathan Wells and I, submitted an annotated bibliography of over 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles

that raise significant challenges to key tenets of Darwinian evolution. If students are to be required

to master the case for Darwinian evolution (as we think they should), shouldn't they also know some of

the difficulties described in such scientific literature?

Shouldn’t students know that many scientists doubt that the overall pattern of fossil evidence conforms

to the Darwinian picture of the history of life? Shouldn't they know that some scientists now question previously

stock Darwinian arguments from embryology and homology? And shouldn't they also know that many scientists now

question the ability of natural selection to create fundamentally new structures, organisms and

body plans? Last fall 100 scientists, including professors from institutions such as M.I.T, Yale and Rice,

published a statement questioning the creative power of natural selection. Shouldn't students know why?

Second, constitutional law permits “teaching the controversy” about scientific theories of

origins. In the controlling Edwards v. Aguillard case, the Supreme Court made clear that state legislatures

(and by extension state boards) already have the right to mandate teaching scientific critiques of prevailing

theories. Interestingly, the court also made clear that teachers have the right to teach students

about “a variety of scientific theories about origins . . . with the clear secular intent of enhancing

science education.” Our compromise proposal requires teaching existing scientific critique of Darwinism,

and permits discussion of competing theories, just as the Court allows.

Third, federal education policy calls for precisely this kind of approach. The report language accompanying

the federal education act (“No Child Left Behind”) states that “where topics are taught that may generate

controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full

range of views that exist [and] why such topics may generate controversy.” Some have dismissed this language

as irrelevant to Ohio's deliberations because it appears in the report accompanying the federal education act,

not in the act itself. But report language typically articulates Congress's interpretation of

law and guides its implementation. As such, report language expresses federal policy and has the effect

of law. In this case, as Ohio's John Boehner, chair of the House education committee, has advised the

Ohio Board, the report language makes clear that “science standards not be used to censor debate on

controversial issues in science including Darwin’s theory of evolution.”

Fourth, voters overwhelmingly favor this approach. In a recent national Zogby poll, 71% of those polled stated

their support for teaching evidence both for and against Darwin's theory of evolution. Only 15% opposed

to “evidence that points to an intelligent design of life.”

Finally, good pedagogy commends this approach. Teaching the controversy about Darwinism as it exists

in the scientific community will engage student interest. It will motivate students to learn more about

the biological evidence as they see why it matters to a big question. This is not only good teaching;

it is good science. As Darwin wrote in the Origin of Species, “A fair result can be obtained

only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”

Yet, the modern Darwinist lobby continues to distract attention from their advocacy of censorship by

reciting a litany of complaints about the emerging theory of intelligent design. But that theory is not

the issue in Ohio. The issue is whether students will learn both sides of the real and growing scientific

controversy about Darwinism,and whether a 19th century theory will be taught dogmatically to 21st century students.

Stephen C. Meyer received his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from Cambridge University.

He directs Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture in Seattle, Washington. He testified before

the Ohio State Board of Education on March 11th, 2002.

Discovery Institute — Center for Science and Culture

1511 Third Ave., Suite 808 — Seattle, WA 98101

206-292-0401 phone — 206-682-5320 fax

email: cscinfo@discovery.org

from: prison ministry




IFI prison fellowhip



IFI PRISON FELLOWSHIP

Fact Sheet Regarding Iowa Decision

June 2006

On June 2, 2006, Judge Robert Pratt of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa issued

his Opinion in Americans United for Separation of Church and State, et al. v. Prison Fellowship Ministries, Inc. after a

three-week bench trial. The Court analyzed the constitutionality of the contract between the Iowa Department of Corrections

("DOC") and the Inner Change Freedom Initiative, Inc. ("IFI") for a values based, pre-release prison treatment program.

The Court held that while the DOC had a primarily secular purpose when contracting with IFI, that is, the reduction of

recidivism, the contract advances religion (By the way, Christianity is A WAY OF LIFE, NOT a religion! Religion can't

save anything. Only Christ can!) in its primary effect and fosters excessive government entanglement with religion. As a

result, the Court declared the contract to be unconstitutional and permanently enjoined further operation of the Program

within the Iowa DOC. Additionally, the Court ordered that IFI repay to Iowa all of the monies it has received as payment for

its services in operating the Program since the commencement of the contractual relationship between IFI and the Iowa DOC.

(1) The Court's decision takes away an effective tool for prison administrators to deal with rising recidivism rates,

which is a major societal problem. The Court not only admitted that recidivism is a huge problem in Iowa (as it is throughout

the country), it also held that the primary purpose of the Iowa DOC's contract with IFI was to combat the recidivism problem,

not to infuse the Iowa prison system with religion. Despite this holding, the Court enjoined the Program from further operation.

There is no dispute that the IFI Program is a quality program, which is why prison officials in several states have brought

the Program to their prison system. There is also no dispute that 60 percent of the funds used in the program were privately

donated. The 40 percent of the funds that come from the State coffers are only used for the non-sectarian aspects of the

program. Moreover, independent studies by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the University of Pennsylvania have

shown that the program is an effective tool in reducing recidivism. Despite this, the Court declared the Program

unconstitutional.

(2) The Court's decision effectively prohibits people of faith from helping to solve this societal problem. The decision

calls into question whether a treatment provider affiliated with any religion may apply for or conduct an in-prison treatment

program. This is unfortunate, as there is no other organization- sectarian or not - that offers such comprehensive

and intensive treatment and educational opportunities for inmates.

(3) The opinion fails to recognize the fact that enrollment in the program is completely voluntary.

Every single inmate who testified at trial admitted that he was not coerced into enrolling in the program. Inmates are only

exposed to the religious aspects of the program as a result of their voluntary choice. Moreover, inmates who enroll in the

program know about and are fully informed about its religious aspects before enrolling. Inmates can also leave the program at

any time without penalty.

(4) There is no evidence that inmates are coerced into enrolling into the IFI Program. The Court concluded that IFI

coerces inmates to convert to Christianity simply because of the quality of the program's offerings to the inmates. Essentially,

the Court penalizes the IFI Program because it is a quality program and offers inmates the tools they need to succeed when

they are released from prison. The Opinion, despite the Court's attempted rationalizations, creates a "race to the bottom. The

Court relied on expert testimony in holding that inmates are coerced into enrolling, but the expert based his conclusions on

his interviews with only six plaintiff inmates hand-picked by Plaintiff's counsel. Further, the Court ignored significant

testimony (even from Plaintiffs' own witnesses) that some inmates did not want to enroll in the program because of the

strict schedule and rules.

(5) IFI does not require inmates to convert to Christianity to enroll, progress, or graduate from the program.

Perhaps most disturbing about Judge Pratt's decision is the gross oversimplification of evangelical Christians and

evangelical Christianity. The Court relied heavily on purported expert (expert?....they better read the Bible some more)

testimony that Evangelical Christians by definition must seek to convert others (not true: Only God can convert the inmate, only

thing Christians can do is present the facts as outlined in the Holy Scriptures, and the inmates can decide for themselves

whether they choose to follow God's plan or the world's Babylonian system. The majority of inmates in our prison system

now follow the Babylonian system, thus the high recidivism rate or return to prison) and any action they take must be construed

to that end. Yet this expert has never set foot in an IFI classroom to see if this is true, or to determine how IFI

uses its curriculum in class. Moreover, it is disingenuous to claim that all Evangelicals try to convert others, especially

since every IFI witness testified that they did not try to convert inmates to Christianity. The Court also ignored evidence

that IFI makes accommodations for non-Christian inmates,allowing them to attend services of their choice, observe Ramadan, and

attend sweat lodge ceremonies, in addition to the fact that non-Christian inmates have graduated from the IFI Program without

converting to Christianity.

(6) The Court's reliance on the "pervasively sectarian test is out-of touch with current Establishment Clause law.

According to the judge, the simple fact that IFI is a pervasively sectarian organization forecloses its receipt of

state funds. At least three (probably five) justices on the united States Supreme Court, however, have rejected this

principle, stating that it was "born of bigotry. It is the general consensus among the circuits that this is no longer

good law.

(7) The Court improperly focused on events that happened in 1999/2000 instead of focusing on how the program is run

today. The Court admitted that IFI has done a good job disciplining volunteers/staff who act inappropriately, yet

seized on dated, inadmissible hearsay testimony from inmates to paint a distorted view of the IFI Program to support its

conclusions of unconstitutionality.

(8) The Court's ruling on recoupment is unprecedented and lacks any factual basis. The Court ignored the fact that IFI has

been providing services to Iowa and its inmates since 1999, under a valid contract arrived at through a competitive bid

process, with positive results. The state of Iowa did not ask for these funds back. In fact, all of the DOC witnesses asked

agreed that IFI has earned the money that it has received from Iowa and that it has been money well spent. IFI still believes

that its program conforms with the Constitution and the Establishment Clause as they are currently interpreted. As the

Supreme Court has recognized, and is evident from every stage of this litigation including the 140 page Opinion on the merits

of this case, this area of the law is unsettled and nuanced, which clearly contradicts the Court's conclusion that IFI and

the State of Iowa should have known that their contract violated the law.

44180 Riverside Parkway

Lansdowne, VA 20176

(703) 478-0100 Fax (703) 554-8658

www.prisonfellowship.org

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Brief Challenges $1.5M Ruling Against Iowa Prison Fellowship

Sep 15,2006

VALUES-BASED PRISON PROGRAM FILES APPEAL OF FEDERAL JUDGE'S RULING DENYING FAITH'S ROLE IN PRISONER REHAB

Inner Change Freedom Initiative & Prison Fellowship Battle Shutdown of Effective Program that Reduces Recidivism, Enhances

Public Safety, & Cuts Corrections Costs

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2006-Today Prison Fellowship filed their appeal of a federal court order to close a very effective

prisoner rehabilitation program in Iowa. The State of Iowa and the Inner Change Freedom Initiative also filed appeals with the

8th Circuit Court of Appeals contesting Iowa Federal Court Judge Robert Pratt's ruling in the lawsuit brought by the Americans

United for the Separation of Church and State.

On June 2, Judge Pratt ordered that the Iowa Inner Change Freedom Initiative (IFI), a comprehensive, faith-based pre-

release program for prisoners that is affiliated with Prison Fellowship, be shut down and that Prison Fellowship and IFI

repay the State of Iowa the $1.5 million paid to IFI under a contract for services over the past six years. Judge Pratt ruled

that the IFI program was "pervasively sectarian" and thus violated the separation of church and state. "The lower court's

decision would handcuff people of faith who are helping corrections officials turn inmates' lives around," said Prison

Fellowship President Mark Earley. "What is at stake here, at its heart, is public safety. The key to reducing recidivism and

protecting the public from repeat offenses is effective rehabilitative programming like that provided by the Inner

Change Freedom Initiative."

For nearly a decade, the Inner Change Freedom Initiative has produced dramatic results in changing the lives of hardened

criminals and stopping the revolving door of crime. The program presents viable solutions to challenges with which state and

local governments struggle."Corrections officials asked us to establish this program because it works," said Earley. "It helps

them reduce recidivism, enhance security within the prisons through improved inmate accountability and behavior, and lowers

correctional costs.

"For centuries, people of faith have led prison reform efforts in America. Judge Pratt's ruling would put an end to

this valuable resource for prison officials who are trying to send inmates back to their communities with transformed hearts

and minds."

Prison Fellowship and the Inner Change Freedom Initiative are represented in the appeal by The Becket Fund for

Religious Liberty, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, interfaith, legal and educational institute dedicated to protecting the free

expression of all religious traditions and Troutman Sanders, LLP, the Atlanta-based international law firm."There is more at

stake in this case than one great prison program," said Kevin J. (Seamus) Hasson, founder and president of The Becket Fund. "The

trial court's opinion threatens to obliterate the good works of many faith-based organizations that contract with the government

to serve society. In defending Prison Fellowship, we are defending them all. "Read the brief in its entirety at:

http://www.becketfund.org/index.php/ article/534.ht

Relevant Cases

. Americans United for Separation of Church and State v. Prison Fellowship Ministries and Inner change

Freedom Initiative 11/28/06 3:53 PM

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AMICUS BRIEFS

On Friday, September 22, several organizations filed "friend of the court" or "amicus" briefs with the 8th Circuit Court of

Appeals, backing the IFI program in Iowa and urging the appeals court to overturn the ruling against IFI and Prison Fellowship.

You may read the briefs themselves here:

* Brief by state Attorneys General .....http://www.prisonfellowship.org/generic.asp?ID=2416

* Brief by the American Center for Law and Justice.....http://www.aclj.org/

* Brief by the Alliance Defense Fund .....http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/main/default.aspx

* Brief by the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights......http://www.catholicleague.org/

This morning, Prison Fellowship issued a press release, which you may read below.

THANK YOU for your prayers and continued support.

NEWS RELEASE

Six High-Profile Groups Ask U.S. Court of Appeals to Overturn Federal Court Denial of Faith as Crime-Buster Amicus Briefs

Support Inner Change Freedom Initiative and Prison Fellowship in Continuing Proven, Faith-Based Prisoner Rehabilitation

Programs

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2006-Representing a variety of government, faith-based, and legal entities, six influential

groups have filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis. The parties are asking the

appeals court to overturn an Iowa federal judge's ruling against a faith- and values-based prison program that research shows

reduces recidivism and makes America's communities safer. (For findings of these preliminary studies and other stats, see the

press kit section.)

Despite a Zogby International public opinion poll released earlier this year that showed that 70 percent of

Americans favor rehabilitative services for prisoners both during incarceration and after release, a federal district court

judge in Iowa has ordered the Inner Change Freedom Initiative (IFI) to shut down. He also ordered that IFI, a comprehensive

pre-release program for prisoners that is affiliated with the world's largest outreach to prisoners and their families, Prison

Fellowship, reimburse the state of Iowa$1.5 million. The money was paid to IFI by the state to run the prisoner rehabilitation

program. Groups filing amicus briefs in support of the Inner Change Freedom Initiative and Prison Fellowship include:

. The Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Alabama, as well as seven other states

. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) on behalf of four IFI graduates

. A coalition of faith-based organizations that includes the Alliance Defense Fund, National Association of Evangelicals,

Teen Challenge, and the Coalition to Preserve Religious Freedom

. The Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights

. The National Legal Foundation (NLF)

. The Foundation for Moral Law

"These amicus briefs demonstrate widespread support across the political, social, and religious spectrum for how the Inner

Change Freedom Initiative is transforming prisoners' lives and making our communities safer, " said Prison Fellowship President

and former Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley. "These groups-and many others-recognize the importance of overturning this

chilling legal decision that threatens to strike a real body blow to religious freedom and puts at risk any faith-based

charity that is delivering voluntary services in a public setting.

Arguments made in the briefs for overturning the lower court's ruing include:

. The IFI program is constitutional as supported by case law;

. The crushing repayment of funds ordered in the ruling would discourage faith-based organizations from contracting to perform

vital social services for government bodies;

. The judge did not base his decision on established case law but on criteria that resulted in hostility toward religion.

The Inner Change Freedom Initiative has produced substantial results since its 1997 founding in changing the

lives of hardened criminals and stopping the revolving door of crime. In addition to operating in Iowa, IFI provides voluntary

services to prisoners in Texas, Minnesota, Kansas, and Arkansas. The program is scheduled to launch in Missouri in early 2007.

11/28/064:03 PM

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ACLJ American Center for Law & Justice

A Prison Reform Program That Works

For decades, Prison Fellowship Ministries has done a fantastic job at prisoner reform. In fact, statistics show that recidivism

rates are as low as 8% as compared with 60% for non-faith-based programs. Those incarcerated should have a faith-based option.

Today we filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, Missouri asking the appeals

court to overturn a lower court decision ordering the Inner Change Freedom Initiative (IFI) and Prison Fellowship Ministries

to reimburse the state of Iowa $1.5 million dollars the state paid IFI to run a faith-based rehabilitation program.

This is a constitutionally sound and highly effective faith-based program that helps turn troubled lives around. The lower

court decision not only removes an effective program with a proven track record, it creates a chilling effect by ordering

restitution. We're hopeful the appeals court will correct this flawed decision and uphold the constitutionality of this

important program.

In our brief, we contend that "if the IFI program were to be dismantled and penalized (especially by the million-dollar-

plus restitution order in this case) under the decision below, this would both punish a successful program and profoundly deter

any similar program in the future. . ."

In the lower court decision, a federal district judge ordered that Prison Fellowship and IFI must stop its operations for the

Iowa Department of Corrections and repay the state $1.5 million spent on the program over the past six years. Our brief asserts

that the lower court decision will be damaging to those who want to help prisoners through faith-based programs.

"The ACLJ is deeply concerned with the chilling effect of the $1.5 million restitution order in this case, which penalizes

a private faith-based grantee for its religious activities," the brief explains. "Few faith-based organizations would be willing

to contract to perform services for government bodies if such services were forced to take place under the shadow of

potentially crushing recoupment orders.

Yet the decision below casts precisely such a chilling shadow."

We represent Travis Dagel, Sandro Navarro, Robert Robinson, and Rick Theeler - four former prisoners who

successfully completed the Iowa IFI program and who are now successfully employed and rebuilding their lives. Dagel summed

up the consequences if the IFI program is eliminated: "Would you rather have me come out a changed man or a worse criminal? It

wouldn't be right if inmates didn't have a choice to enter a program such as IF!." And, in the words of Theeler,

"Without IFI, I would never had been able to change, I would still be doing time. I am living proof that the IFI program

helped me to become a different man."

Posted: 9/25/20069:30:00 AM

......................................................................................................................................................

UPDATE

IFI and the New York Times

Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.

Regular “Break Point” listeners and readers know that a federal judge has ordered a highly successful program for

prisoners called the Inner Change Freedom Initiative®, or IFI, to shut down because the judge felt

it violated the separation of church and state.

(First of all this judge's premise is all wrong. Separation of Church and State is a false and bogus doctrine of the Socialist

Democrats)

Prison Fellowship strongly disagrees. So do the Justice Department, nine state attorneys general, and numerous faith-

based organizations. That’s why Prison Fellowship is appealing the case and why the others I just mentioned have filed friend-

of-the-court briefs with the appeals court on IFI’s behalf. Not surprisingly, however, the New York Times agrees with the judge.

On its front page last Sunday, the Times ( Also a Socialist Democrat think tank run by the liberal left-wing) ran the

following headline above the fold: “Religion for a Captive Audience, Paid for by Taxes.” The headline alone tells you the

kind of picture the Times intended to—and, in fact, did—paint: inmates coerced into participating in a government-funded

religious program.

But what did the Times not tell us in that article?

First, the Times failed to mention that prisoners who participate in the program do so voluntarily.

Every potential participant is told about the religious aspects of the program. Participants may leave it at any time without

penalty. And they do not need to accept or profess Christianity to graduate. That’s why every prisoner who testified at trial

said that he was not coerced into enrolling in the program. Neither did the New York Times tell you about what the judge

considered to be “coercion”: offering inmates a quality program and the tools they need to succeed on the outside, such as

drug treatment, job preparedness, and general education.

These are what he regarded as bait to lure unsuspecting prisoners into a Christian program where they can be converted!

(Which reminds me people, the next time you vote make sure you check the boxes that contain what judges will remain in office)

The Times did tell you that one Catholic inmate left the program because he felt IFI was hostile to his faith.

(That's quite possible, since there is only One God that deserving of Worship,and while the Times granted that the

program does not condone anti-Catholicism—which, of course, it doesn’t—it didn’t tell you that the Catholic League for

Religious and Civil Rights filed an amicus brief on IFI’s behalf.

In its zeal to make it look like the taxpayers are picking up the tab for jailhouse evangelism and indoctrination—their words

not mine—the Times didn’t tell readers that Prison Fellowship pays 60 percent of IFI’s costs in Iowa. The other 40 percent

paid by the state of Iowa, pursuant to a competitive bid contract, is used for the non-sectarian or non-religious aspects

of the program.

While the Times did note that attorneys general in nine states “fiercely protested” the judge’s decision, and that IFI

has been “widely praised by correctional officials and politicians,” it didn’t tell you why. The reason is that IFI has

been proven to help states (reduce recidivism from 70% to 6%!, judge), as shown by a study by the University of

Pennsylvania. And it helps states to manage corrections costs.

(Maybe judge, YOU would like to pick up those costs then)

In short, state officials like IFI because it works.

The Times article has been picked up by other newspapers across the country. On one hand, I’m glad that IFI is receiving front-

page coverage. On the other hand, I’m left feeling that the Times has chosen not to report all the news that’s fit to print.

JBT Ventures would like to add some resources for the readership to encourage everyone who has family members in

jail, that God is indeed freeing His people through the Mike Barber Ministries

Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus, is not from God. This is the spirit

of the anti-Christ , which you have heard is coming and even now is in the world. You dear children (prisoners) have (and can)

overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 Jn. 4:3-4.

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13

He who has ears, (and eyes) let him hear (and see) Matt. 11:15

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Isa. 43:18 There over 3 million men

and women jailed, and God can release all of them.

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you;...Ps. 55:22

See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you. Isa. 42:9

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has an anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has

sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and RELEASE from

darkness for the PRISONERS,... Isa. 61:1

These are powerful words from Jesus that if heard and acted upon will change lives around the world. I invite you to search out

the ministry of Mike Barber. Watch the video and be blessed.

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Freedom From Depression

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise HIM my Savior

and my God Psalms 42:5

Freedom From Sexual Confusion

But at the beginning of creation, GOD made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and

mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what GOD

has joined together, let man not separate. Mark 10:6-9

Freedom From Gambling

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not

want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know

that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry

it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do

what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:15-20

Freedom From Anxiety

Cast all your anxiety on HIM because HE cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

Freedom From Sexual Abuse

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Colossians 3:21

The Refiners Fire

But seek first HIS kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

The Altar Call

For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS one and only SON, that whoever believes in HIM shall not perish

but have ETERNAL LIFE. John 3:16

If you are a person who is broken and tired of looking for love in all the wrong places, a person who

feels you're not good enough or the sins you have committed are too great, all you have to do is look up and surrender

to THE ONE who has been waiting for you.

HIS arms are wide open and ready to give you HIS ETERNAL LOVE through HIS SON JESUS CHRIST.

Just pray this prayer with a true and pure heart:

Father please help me, I know I am a sinner and I need you. I ask for your forgiveness of all my sins. I ask you

JESUS to come into my life and to be my LORD and SAVIOR in JESUS NAME amen.

Congratulations, you are now a member of GOD'S family.

Please, from this point on, go get involved with a church that is close to you and read the WORD of GOD

daily and watch what HE will do in your life though CHRIST JESUS.

GOD BLESS you.

Through Fire and Water by Cheryl Cusella

An incredible story of a woman who experienced love, fame, money and success only to discover a lie so

pervasive in our culture it stripped away her own identity. This is a powerful, page-gripping account of a courageous

woman tested by fire and on the edge, desperate and seeking for love in all the wrong places. From the bright lights of

the stage as a Stevie Nicks look-a-like entertainer, to featuring in nightclubs, to a lonely prison cell - and

beyond. This true story will captivate your heart and reveal the true meaning of love.

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Prisoner Alert

Update on Sandul Bibi

Praise God! Sandul and Gulsher Masih have been released from custody. "I am thankful to God he released me from prison," Sandul said. "I am thankful to VOM for helping my family, and I thank my brothers and sisters who wrote me letters in prison. May God bless all of you, and Merry Christmas." We rejoice with Sandul and Gulsher's family. We encourage you to continue writing letters to believers who remain jailed. Forward this e-mail to others who have a heart for persecuted Christians, and encourage them to write and pray. Get involved! Pray and write today.

Hello Friends.

Since our last communication with you, the PrisonerAlert for Sandul Bibi has been viewed over 36100 times, and over 7400 letters of encouragement have been sent. What a blessing this must have been to Sandul Bibi -- and what a message it will have sent to the officials, that this person is cared for internationally.

Now imagine what could happen if we could double, triple or increase by ten or one hundred-fold the number of people, around the World, that are praying and writing on behalf of those imprisoned and persecuted for their faith.

You can help. Please forward this email to those you know have a heart for God's people and encourage them to sign-up too. It's the work of friends telling friends that will bring the greatest response to those who need it most. As the email does its work, you can revisit the chart below to see the effect that you have had.

Thank you in advance for partnering with us on behalf of those who suffer for the Lord.

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On Dec. 12, Father Nguyen Van Ly, who had suffered a severe stroke on Nov. 14, was sent back to jail after several weeks of treatment in a hospital. Father Van Ly's sister said, "His situation is a bit better now, but his life is not normal yet. We don't know why they decided to transfer him back to prison, as he still needs help." At last report, he is partially paralyzed and is able to walk only a few steps with a walking stick. Please send a letter of encouragement to Father Van Ly, letting him know you are praying for him. Also pray for his persecutors. Tell your friends about Christians suffering in Vietnam, and encourage them to pray for Father Van Ly and to write to him as well.

Hello Friends.

Since our last communication with you, the PrisonerAlert for Father Nguyen Van Ly has been viewed over 21900 times, and over 3800 letters of encouragement have been sent. What a blessing this must have been to Father Nguyen Van Ly -- and what a message it will have sent to the officials, that this person is cared for internationally.

Now imagine what could happen if we could double, triple or increase by ten or one hundred-fold the number of people, around the World, that are praying and writing on behalf of those imprisoned and persecuted for their faith.

You can help. Please forward this email to those you know have a heart for God's people and encourage them to sign-up too. It's the work of friends telling friends that will bring the greatest response to those who need it most. As the email does its work, you can revisit the chart below to see the effect that you have had.

Thank you in advance for partnering with us on behalf of those who suffer for the Lord.

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Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Arrested: December 2009

Days Imprisoned: 56

Maryam Jalili, Mitra Zahmati and Farzan Matin, are imprisoned in Iran following their arrest while gathered at a house church to celebrate Christmas. On Dec. 24, Maryam, Mitra, and Farzan were among 12 Christians arrested by security forces in Pakdasht, Iran. After a week without information, family members contacted authorities and demanded to know where they were being held. Officials told the families that the Christians would be released the same day, but instead they were secretly transferred to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. Twelve of the believers were released on Jan. 4.

We encourage you to write a letter of encouragement to Maryam, Mitra, and Matin and let them know you are praying for them and other persecuted believers in Iran. Let your friends know about suffering Christians in Iran and encourage them to pray and write as well.

Your letters make a difference, sometimes resulting in shorter sentences. Pray and write today!

www.prisoneralert.com

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Update on Father Nguyen Van Ly

Father Nguyen Van Ly was recently released from and taken to a Church-run home to receive medical treatment, according to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA). UCA reported that at the request of Father Van Ly's relatives, "officials allowed him to temporarily stop serving his sentence to get medical treatment at the home for retired priests for one year." Father Van Ly has already served three years of his eight-year sentence. Thank you for writing letters of encouragement to Father Van Ly. We encourage you to continue writing letters to believers in prison. Forward this e-mail to your friends who have a heart for the persecuted, and encourage them to write and pray. Hello Friends.

Since our last communication with you, the PrisonerAlert for Father Nguyen Van Ly has been viewed over 22000 times, and over 4700 letters of encouragement have been sent. What a blessing this must have been to Father Nguyen Van Ly -- and what a message it will have sent to the officials, that this person is cared for internationally.

Now imagine what could happen if we could double, triple or increase by ten or one hundred-fold the number of people, around the World, that are praying and writing on behalf of those imprisoned and persecuted for their faith.

You can help. Please forward this email to those you know have a heart for God's people and encourage them to sign-up too. It's the work of friends telling friends that will bring the greatest response to those who need it most. As the email does its work, you can revisit the chart below to see the effect that you have had.

Thank you in advance for partnering with us on behalf of those who suffer for the Lord

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