- Showing 2 posts filed under: Region: North America and Caribbean [–], Prison [–], Country:USA [–] published between Feb 01, 2010 and Feb 28, 2010 [Show all]
Ministering to sex offenders
interview by Saul Gonzales for PBS' Religion and Ethics:
GONZALEZ: First started by Canadian churches in the mid 1990s, COSA’s work with sex offenders centers on small discussion circles that meet weekly. In the circles, four to six volunteers from the community are matched with one sex offender, called a core member. In this circle the offender is named John.
JOHN: And I screwed up and I made some bad choices because I become careless and I become complacent, and that is something that anybody that’s in my situation cannot do.
GONZALEZ: The circles are intended to get recently paroled sex offenders to take responsibility for the crimes they’ve committed and provide them material and moral support as they attempt to reenter the community.
JOHN: I can talk about anything, anything.
JOHN: Anything. I told them things about me that I wouldn’t tell my closest friend.
Inside Chowchilla Women's Prison: Locked up, reaching out
Behind the locked doors of the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla there's a waiting list to join a unique group. It's called the Long Termers Organization (LTO). Prisoners must be discipline free for year before they are accepted.
"We do have remorse for what we have done, we are taking responsibility and we are doing our best to give back what we have taken away," Inmate Charlann Geronimo said.
"It means a lot to the victim. It's the beginning of the healing process when the offender takes accountability for their actions and offers some type of remorse," Tina Figueroa with Madera County Victim Services said.