Missouri Program Will Ordain Ministers Behind Bars

The Missouri Dept. of Corrections (MODOC) will soon join forces with Hannibal-LaGrange University to start college-level classes to train long-term inmates to be ministers. The program is modeled after other states where murderers, rapists, and other inmates are transformed into individuals who will spread the gospel to fellow inmates. The concept first began in Louisiana's Angola prison in 1995, and has since spread to an estimated 16 other states.

MODOC Director Anne Precythe says the program's goal is to improve Missouri's prison system through peer-counseling. When about two dozen offenders have completed the program, the inmates will be assigned to different institutions to provide spiritual counseling and support to fellow offenders.

The inmates must apply to the bachelor degree program that focuses 60% on counseling and 40% on theology. The program focuses on long-term inmates because they have a stake in changing the culture of the prison where they reside. The cost of the program will be covered through fundraising.

August 30, 2019 - 2:04pm

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