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Unleashing the Armies of Compassion

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 64 Issue: 7 Dated: December 2002 Pages: 82-84
J. C. Watts Jr.
Susan L. Clayton M.S.
Date Published
December 2002
3 pages
This article discusses faith-based organizations and programs developed under the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, their efforts to provide services to the hopeless and underprivileged, such as the homeless, and incarcerated drug and alcohol offenders, and efforts to expand and support these groups under the Community Solutions Act of 2001.
Thousands of faith-based organizations exist across the United States. These include organizations such as Teen Challenge and Prison Fellowship Ministries. President George W. Bush established the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to spread hope to those without. Faith-based organizations, also called “armies of compassion” consist of devoted individuals dedicated to working with the poor in neighborhoods, on street corners, in prison, and in shelters. These organizations aid in breaking the cycle of hopelessness. Incarcerated drug users receive limited assistance in resolving their drug problem. Faith-based organizations like Prison Fellowship Ministries provide hope and can help people change their lives. In 2001, the Community Solutions Act of 2001 was introduced to expand and support recruitment efforts for faith-based organizations enhancing the power of communities and individuals to solve difficult societal problems. It strengthens the public’s ability to serve the poor, the homeless, the addicted, the hungry, the unemployed, and the victims of violence. As greater numbers of inmates break the cycle of drugs and crime, crowding in U.S. prisons will likely ease.