A couple came by the church to visit with me today.
This couple has been attending our church for at least a month now. They said "this place is warm and feels like home." After talking today I discovered pieces of their story.
In 2007 the male was released from prison having served 25 of his 50 year sentence. Its tough living in one world for a quarter century and then being kicked out and sent away into another (picture Shawshank Redemption). Think about how much change has happened in the last 25 years. In our day and age so much changes every 5!
They were both looking for work (which I believe to be sincere). However, obviously, work for a felon is hard to come by; and honest, dependable, quality work even harder.
Churches might have a part to play in all this.
Mobilizing the people of God to practically meet individuals coming out of prison can help them with reentry. When I look at the types of people the Gospels record Jesus spending the most time with they look to me like people coming out of prison. They were avoided by "righteous/religious" people, pushed to the margins of society, and typically were not kind or cordial but mean, dangerous, and were getting what they deserved.
A new heaven and new earth might look like followers of Christ helping stop the incarceration cycle.