Have you ever been in prison or wanted to go to prison? “Want” to go to prison, you say? Who in their right mind would “want” to go to prison? That scary place that is filled with darkness and bad people. Well I must confess, I’ve been in prison more times than I can count and have found light and made friends there. You see, I’ve been a volunteer for a prison ministry called Kairos for the past 10 years.
Okay, I admit, I was very apprehensive the first time I went to prison. As you can imagine, here I am, a guy that has never been behind bars. Let me tell you, the correction officers (they don’t like being called guards) search you and all your stuff, the heavy gates and doors being remotely controlled to open then slam shut behind you and the residents (we don’t call them inmates) staring at you as you walk down the halls all be can very daunting for a first-time volunteer. But that soon dissipates as you get to know the correction officers (you talk to them about personal things), the routine (you know where to go and doors and gates don’t scare you), and the residents (call you by name and are happy to see you).
How often do I go to prison? Our program has a group of Kairos volunteers conducting a four-day weekend, twice a year for those residents that have never participated. So, that’s 8 days in prison. And then, we go back every month for a reunion that consists of all residents that participated in a Weekend. Add those 12 days and now you have 20. Then we have a two-day retreat that takes place once a year and you have 22 days. Last there’s a one day Instructional a few weeks after every Weekend. In total, I spend 24 days a year in prison; about one month in working days.
Still sound scary? My advice to anyone is get involved and see for yourself! Working in the prisons; not only helps those that are incarcerated to rethink who they are, what they are and where they are by reshaping their worth and future. It also helps society by bringing individuals back into the community that want to contribute to it rather than take from it.
One of the things that I like best is that netlogx contributes to my volunteer efforts by giving me one paid volunteer day off each year. It’s netlogx way of giving back to the community through its team members. Additionally, netlogx participates in many volunteer programs including one in prisons. Way to go netlogx! I’m proud to work here!