We've seen the "worst of
the worst" make a complete turnaround through the
power of Jesus Christ

While not a practicing Christian in the traditional sense, I was deeply and profoundly touched by the love of Jesus while in prison. Chuck Colson’s personal transformation and his Prison Fellowship were a key influence in my own awakening. I saw firsthand the transformational impact the Prison Fellowship was having on hundreds of my fellow travelers.

—Gerald Henry

In 1974 the Watergate scandal sent White House special counsel Chuck Colson to federal prison. A new Christian, he faced challenges and adversities that tested his faith and self respect. Paroled in 1975, Chuck could easily have opted to close the book on that dark time and move on with his life as inconspicuously as possible. But Chuck knew that God wanted him to hold onto his ties to prison and continue to identify with his fellow prisoners-despite the skepticism and scorn of Chuck's critics. So in 1976, with little more than a vision and the support of a few friends, Chuck began Prison Fellowship (PF) to proclaim to inmates the love and the power of Jesus Christ.

Prison Fellowship Ministries is part of a larger cause—a bigger movement—to bring hope, healing and transformation to prisoners. Even more, the movement extends hope to their families, their little children and the communities which receive them back.

The Vision: We Aim For Radical Transformation

That's because the Bible promises, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" And we believe that "anyone" includes prisoners. We've seen the "worst of the worst" make a complete turnaround through the power of Jesus Christ. Some may scoff, but "with God all things are possible," Jesus declared.

We're committed to the journey

Radical, lasting change seldom takes place overnight. More often, it's an accumulation of steps—usually forward, but sometimes back, as we run into difficult terrain and roadblocks along the way.

The question is: What do you believe?

Prison Fellowship walks with prisoners through the different stages of their journey. We start with them inside prison, as they learn new values based on the life and teaching of Christ and how to apply them. We continue with them through the critical transition to the outside, helping them through obstacles and daunting temptations. So even if they stumble, it doesn't mean defeat.

We also help prisoners and their families rejoin their journeys, staying connected during incarceration, adjusting well when prisoners return home.

We don't do it alone

From its beginning, Prison Fellowship has partnered with local churches to carry out this ministry of transformation. And in recent years God has brought together tens of thousands of men, women, and even youth to work with prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. Across the country they are uniting in local Communities of Care, providing support and services both inside and outside the prisons.

These churches also collaborate with scores of other faith-based ministries, community organizations, and corrections officials to ensure that, together, we can reach prisoners and their families with the best possible teaching, resources, and support.

Whatever your talent, interest, or time commitment, you can join in the journey!

So if released prisoners have nowhere to go, we may help them find housing. For prisoners' families in need, our volunteers may help with food and bills. Prisoners who dropped out of high school may receive help to get their GED. Even prisoners with no family support are welcomed into accepting church families.

If you change a life, you can change your world.

Prison Fellowship,reaches out to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families both as an act of service to Jesus Christ and as a contribution to restoring peace to our cities and communities endangered by crime. The best way to transform our communities is to transform the people within those communities.

We believe that at its core, crime is a moral and spiritual problem. Out of distorted character values, people make poor moral choices that cause harm and destruction. Therefore, authentic and lasting change must take place from the inside out—beginning with a reconciled relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Then, as people learn more about the truth and power of Christ, they learn to think in a new way, act in a new way, and relate to others in a new way.

Working in Partnership

Though its influence now reaches around the world, Prison Fellowship has a relatively small staff.

Fewer than 275 serve at our national office in Northern Virginia and in home offices throughout the U.S.

The real strength of our "workforce" is in the thousands of churches and the tens of thousands of trained volunteers who partner with us to bring about lasting change in the lives of prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families.

And these churches and volunteers have joined with other groups-faith-based ministries, civic organizations, businesses, social agencies-to form Communities of Care that focus on three areas.

1.  Prisons: Connecting prisoners with a new way of thinking and living. Preparing them for a successful life back on the outside.

2.  Communities: Connecting released prisoners with the support and resources they need to beat the odds against them and become productive citizens.

3.  Families: Connecting prisoners with their families. Rebuilding broken bonds. Protecting prisoners' children from falling prey to the generational cycle of crime.

WHY HELP? Because Prison Is Where Jesus Would Be.

While here on earth, Jesus spent most of His time with society’s “outcasts”—crooked tax collectors, prostitutes, and other “sinners.” It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick, Jesus said. And He offered them the healing of His forgiveness and friendship.

So if Jesus were on earth today, you can be sure we would find Him in prison—spending time with even the most loathed criminals and outcasts. Why? Because He came “to seek and to save the lost.”

And now, as Jesus’ representatives on earth, we should be among the prisoners as well. Calling all to the healing touch of Jesus. Trusting that no one, no matter how far he has fallen, is beyond Christ’s love and power to transform.

Do you want to be where Jesus would be?

Prison Fellowship’s logo is an image of a broken, wounded reed. Though our ministry has many unbelievably joyful stories to tell, so do other ministries and other groups of caring people. Our overarching vision is to collaborate with all who are committed to this cause. Above all, it is to make known the message of the story above.

The prophets foretold that the Messiah would be so gentle when He came that “…a bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.”

He is tender with the broken and battered among us, and they are often the ones who hear Him best. He longs to restore them—and all of us.

The same prophet, Isaiah, in the next verses twice states that the Messiah‘s goal is to “bring forth justice in the earth.” True justice.

The influence of the love of Jesus Christ is profound and incalculable. While Everyman founder Gerald Henry was meditating in prison, he had a breathtaking vision of Jesus during the meditation.

While he was an accomplished creative director, he had never before illustrated the human figure other than in crude, childlike form. Immediately following the meditation, Gerald sat down and captured his vision of Jesus in the remarkable illustration you see above.



The Prison Fellowship is a vast organization with may programs and resources to help prisoners, ex-prisoners, their families and loved ones, corrections officers and chaplains:

  •  For all general inquiries call 1-877-478-0100
  •  For BreakPoint inquiries call 1-877-3-CALLBP (22-5527)
  •  For Angel Tree inquiries call 1-800-55-ANGEL (2-6435)
  •  For local volunteer opportunities call 1-800-251-7411

By Email:
View our Frequently Asked Questions to find an answer to your question, ask a question, or submit a comment online.

For Donations Only:
PO Box 1550
Merrifield, VA 22116-1550

For All General Correspondence:
44180 Riverside Parkway
Lansdowne, VA 20176

Please visit the program websites for detailed information.

Angel Tree
It starts with a gift. But it's so much more.

InnerChange Freedom Initiative
A real crime stopper.

Justice Fellowship
Beyond crime and punishment.

Operation Starting Line
We're not afraid of the dark.

Can ex-prisoners stay out for life?

What's a Christian to think (and do)?


Whether you’re getting out of prison, looking for a way to help an incarcerated loved one, or curious about getting more involved in prison ministry, Prison Fellowship has got lots of excellent resources to share with you.

  •  For Prisoners and Ex-prisoners
  •  For Families and Friends of Prisoners
  •  For Volunteers
  •  For Corrections Officials and Chaplains

Most of the information on this resource page was obtained from the Prison Fellowship web site. While Prison Fellowship is a Christian faith based organization, it is widely acknowledged for its success in encouraging interdenominational cooperation in regards to the lives of prisoners and their families.