“…I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:36)
by Steve Hamm
Mini-Blog 3 of 6
Where is Kairos Prison Ministry Offered?
by Steve Hamm
Kairos Prison Ministry serves over 500 communities through its three programs. These communities are found across 37 states and 14 countries. All this happens with less than a dozen staff members, along with over 30,000 volunteers from all walks of life—all aligned to a common mission.
On a local level, Kairos is currently active with a Men’s Kairos Inside program at the medium-security Idaho State Correctional Institution (ISCI). According to Wikipedia…
Idaho State Correctional Institution (ISCI), also referred to as “The Yard,” is an Idaho Department of Correction state prison for men in unincorporated Ada County, Idaho, near Kuna. Located in the desert five miles south of the Boise Airport, it is one of a six residential detention facilities known as the “South Boise Prison Complex.”
ISCI was opened in December 1973 and is the oldest operating prison in the state, with a capacity of 1,446 residents, with special-use beds for infirmary, outpatient mental health, and geriatric residents. Its reception and diagnostic unit (RDU) serves as the entry point for all men entering Idaho’s prison system.
The institution is surrounded by a double fence, patrolled by sentry dogs, with six operational towers to monitor perimeter security and resident movement. The facility includes a religious activities center, a fully-equipped recreation facility with two large tracks and ballfields, an accredited school, a large industrial workspace for vocational rehabilitation and job training programs, and a fully functioning medical clinic with 28 inpatient beds.
ISCI also hosts the Inmate Dog Alliance Program of Idaho (IDAPI). This program takes dogs from the Humane Society, and places them with an inmate. The goal of the program is to prepare the dogs for adoption, as well as providing therapeutic opportunities for the participating residents.
An Idaho Kairos Outside Women’s program was active for a number of years in the past, but was suspended due to challenges recruiting volunteers. With a recent renewed interest, it is hoped that Kairos Outside will once again sparkle in the Gem State in the near future.
Kairos Torch has been discussed in Idaho, but does not currently have the volunteer base needed to establish an Advisory Council to manage the program within the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections.
While the lion’s share of my involvement with Kairos Prison Ministry of Idaho over the past 14 years has taken place with Kairos Inside at ISCI, I have worked closely with teams that have explored establishing Kairos Inside at the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center (PWCC) and Kairos Torch at the Idaho Juvenile Correction Center in St. Anthony. Although these efforts have not borne fruit to date, we continue to pray for more volunteers and an active presence at these facilities in the future. “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
Mini-Blog 4 of 6
When Does Kairos Prison Ministry Take Place?