No matter what we say, there are no meaningful second chances without forgiveness. It’s ultimately what breaks the cycle of crime and sets the table for true restoration.
– Tim Dempsey, Founder
More than half of all prisoners are completely abandoned by their families and friends – receiving not even a single visit the whole time they’re locked up. At the same time, it is know that visitation improves the rate people succeed after prison by about 30 percent. And letters seem to have the same beneficial effect as visitation.
You don’t need to know anything about prison to make a difference. If you can write a letter and know anything about building relationships, you already have what it takes to be of service through Stephen’s Table.
Although we write a lot of letters, we’re not a typical pen pal effort. And here’s why:
- Our effort to connect with people at the beginning of their prison term means that we are able to help them take advantage of their principle asset while incarcerated – time.
- Our many-to-one model means that you’ll never go it alone and that you won’t be letting anyone down if you find yourself in a place where you are unable to continue.
- Our focus on people from the Chattanooga area means that the people we work with will be returning to a support system rather than leaving it in prison when they come home.
- And our inclusion of their loved ones means that there is some relief for the many silent victims of incarceration in our midst.
Our staff coordinates with the institutions, enrolls the prisoners, connects with their families, and matches them with faith communities. This means that you can leave the time-consuming administration behind and concentrate on what’s most important – reaching out to people in prison. We also provide training, technical assistance, and ongoing support so you’ll never feel left alone in your work.