The rate of recidivism, or the rate at which released inmates are arrested and reincarcerated is about 75%. That means that three out of four released inmates will go back to jail. Only one in four released inmates will successfully stay "cage free." I don't know how many are killed by gangs who've been waiting to get revenge.
It may be because we are raising generations of young men who have allowed institutionalization to become the accepted norm in their lives. Guys grow up fatherless, their dads are missing or in prison. A friend of mine, Tom Burger, was a Prison Chaplain for almost 20 years. He once told me that he saw three generations of one family locked up in the same prison. In another instance, he was approached by an inmate who was filled with anxiety because his son was going to be locked up in the same prison with him. When Tom asked him why he was nervous, he said that he never met his son before.
Is society a safe haven for released inmates who have served their sentence's? How do we lower the rate of recidivism? How can we keep young guys from getting arrested in the first place? Can we teach them that it should not be the norm to spend part of your life in jail? I believe the answer is found in disrupting the pattern of fatherlessness. Tom Burger developed a program that he used in prison called "How To Be A Great Dad." It was successful and guys graduated. The time is now to take that program to new levels outside the prison walls. Time is of the essence to help dads become responsible fathers who respect the mothers of their children.
In the upcoming months, the Directors of Youth With A Purpose will be developing a plan to launch a Great Dads Program in Buffalo. We hope to begin in September 2019 one location at The Bread Of Life in South Buffalo. Eventually we hope to have the Court System mandate that young men attend the Great Dads Program for 13 weeks. If you're interested in attending the program or hosting your own Great Dads Program, please let us know. 716-830-8240, firstname.lastname@example.org
DAY 20 WORD
all these commandments
to do them,
which I command thee this day,
to love the Lord thy God,
and to walk ever in his ways;
then shalt thou add three cities more for thee,
beside these three:.”
When someone was killed, people wanted revenge. The law allowed for execution of guilty killers. The family would choose one of their own to exact revenge upon the slayer. That person was called the "blood avenger." The people were given a guarantee from God that He would enlarge their territory and would build three more cities of refuge. The purpose of building extra cities was to ensure the safety of a slayer fleeing a blood avenger. If the distance between refuge cities was too great, the slayer may not be able to reach them before the blood avenger came and killed him.
History shows they never built those three extra cities. Just like the inmate who's released from jail and breaks the law causing his return to jail, the Israelites turned from God. Instead of enlarging their territory, it was taken from them. It seems to me the Israelites were practicing their own act of recidivism. Can you see the bigger picture here?
A refuge city was a place where folks could go after they did something without purpose or out of ignorance. Jesus is a Savior to folks who've been ignorant to God's Love. Ignorance causes separation. The slayer had to stay in the city of refuge until it was proven he was innocent of murder. If he couldn't prove his innocence and there was no proof of his guilt (they didn't protect guilty people,) he stayed in the refuge city until the death of the high priest. Jesus was our High Priest who died for us so that we could be released from the ignorance of our sin.
Jesus is like our refuge city. All of us are like slayers who've sinned and fallen short of God's love through our ignorance. Prisons are full of fathers who left their son's fatherless. God is a father who gave His only Son so that we would know how much a father loves us. A dad is meant to have a place of refuge in his heart for his children. Let it be so.
DAY 20 PRAYER
You're our refuge and strength,
Our very present help in times of trouble.
We do have trouble God and we know why.
The fathers among us haven't done enough to
Enlarge Your territory in the hearts of their children.
You are our dwelling place.
You are the refuge for our children.
Turn the hearts of the fathers to their children.
Turn the hearts of the children to their parents.
Turn all of us to You.
In Jesus Name.