Tuesday, May 10, 2011
"Moral Rehabilitation" Advocated for Prison Ministry by Johnston Unit Chaplain, Rev. Casey Miner
Click on any image above to view it in larger format and/or click on the arrow below to view the video of part of the presentation by Johnston Unit Chaplain Rev. Casey Miner. (Apologies for some ambient noise in this video.)
Moral Rehabilitation Is The Key To Successful Prison Ministry
View and hear the video of part of the presentation by Johnston Unit Chaplain, Rev. Casey Miner, an Anglican Priest, now based at Winnsboro's Johnston Substance Abuse Unit. (Apologies for the ambient noise in the background of this video.) Chaplain Miner is a graduate of the Seminary of the Venerable Bede.
Chaplain Miner showed filmed documentaries of successful prison ministry at Angola State Prison in Louisiana, the world's largest maximum security prison, which has seen dramatic improvement with the introduction of faith-based ministry.
One of the startling facts revealed by Chaplain Miner is that, of all those in prison, 70% have been there before, which he views as an alternate way to access the overall prison recidivism rate.
Chaplain Miner has instituted a "faith-based wing" at Winnsboro's Johnston Unit, and this wing has a recidivism rate of less than 1% during its nearly four years of operation, he told the Tinney Chapel Ladies Group today.
"I'm happiest when I'm in prison," added Chaplain Miner, as a testament to the rewarding nature of his work, which he described as giving something to someone who can not repay him. Chaplain Miner references the words of Jesus: When I was in prison, you visited me. Then, he asks, rhetorically: When did I visit you, Lord? To which he provides the answer, again from the words of Jesus: You did it when you did it for the least of these, my brothers.
When you participate in prison ministry in this fashion, Chaplain Miner compares it to standing at the foot of the Cross, at which a prisoner is being executed.
At the Johnson Unit, Chaplain Miner explained that the residents are there for six months, "early in a criminal career," and are in need of so many things that can be supplied only by volunteers from the community.
He emphasized the work of Residents Encounter Christ (REC) which includes several members of Tinney Chapel, but also stressed the need for all kinds of volunteers, including those who are not called to be ministers, but who have secular skills that can be valuable in the rehabilitation of prisoners. "If you can help someone learn to read or deal with basic math, I have a spot for you at the Johnston Unit," he concluded.
To contact Chaplain Casey Miner:
PO Box 921
Winnsboro, TX 75494.