Our goal at 4th Purpose is to ensure that prisoners leave with the life skills they need to positively contribute to society and begin the work of mending their families. A strong connection to self, family, and community is key to success upon release. Our prison reform efforts focus on three critical areas.
There’s nothing more dangerous than a person without hope, but America’s inmates are given little reason to have any. If our criminal justice system does not do a better job of providing opportunities for inmates to learn and be transformed, the cycle of recidivism and hurt will surely continue. It’s time to look at America’s prison population as a captive audience rather than as captives.
Once the layers are peeled back, we find that most inmates are hungry for hope and want to re-enter a world that gives them reason to stay hopeful. That is why at 4th Purpose we begin the work of helping individuals find their purpose in life starting day one.
These model programs exemplify this purpose-driven approach:
- Prison Entrepreneurship Program: https://www.pep.org/empowering-nnovation/
- The Last Mile: https://tlmworks.org/
- Inmates to Entrepreneurs: https://brianhamilton.org/inmates-to-entrepreneurs/
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS
Just because an inmate is released from prison doesn’t mean their sentence is over. Most offenders are perpetually punished for their crimes with barriers that make it difficult or impossible for them to secure employment, housing, government benefits, student loans, and more. 4th Purpose is out to remove the barriers that keep many from successfully contributing to society upon their release, which raises the likelihood they will return to prison.
Here are some other impactful groups that share our passion for breaking down barriers:
JOURNEY TO TRANSFORMATION
Once a person is able to identify what their purpose in life might be, it is time to prepare them for that purpose. In many cases, this requires a total transformation of who the individual previously was. We say “transformation” because “rehabilitation” isn’t the right word. We’re not out to return prisoners to their previous state. Our prisons should use the time someone is incarcerated to prepare them in whatever ways they weren’t prepared before.
At 4th Purpose we believe that a sentence is more than a punishment; it is a transformation journey where men and women are given the tools they need to leave prison better than they entered it.
These amazing programs exemplify the journey to transformation:
- Georgia Department of Corrections Faith and Character Based Initiative: http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/Divisions/Facilities/Transitional/FCBI
- Bard Prison Initiative, creating college opportunities with in American Prisons: https://bpi.bard.edu/the-work/the-college/
- Restorative Justice Ministries Network: https://www.rjmntexas.com/welcome-back-ministry/