The C4JT mission is to empower local jails to transform their culture and their atmosphere so that people detained there can encounter Christ in a meaningful way and be transformed themselves (Romans 12:2).
Local jails across the nation are starting to wake up to the fact that they could change the way they approach their mission so that people leave the jail better than when they came in! This is a huge shift in the mentality of jailers and is still very limited (just a few jails out of the 3000+ in the U.S.).
This ministry was inspired by the good work done by the Arkansas Jail Resource Day Virtual Working Group in the year 2020. Volunteers met each month for a year on Zoom to create the Roadmap to Jail Transformation. Once complete it was presented at the third annual Jail Resource Day conference on May 11, 2021.
Excitement about what the Lord is doing in jails is already starting to build, especially based on the early successes of Caldwell County (Lockhart, Texas) and Sevier County (DeQueen, Arkansas), with the ground-breaking work being done there by Jail Administrator Chris Wolcott and his awesome team of staff and volunteers.
The best way to demonstrate what we are talking about is to view the video that Sevier County made and posted on Youtube. It is called “Changing Faces” and can be found here. It is a simple video, about 30 minutes long, which is so powerful that it has inspired the Discovery Channel to produce an 8-episode series documenting what Jesus is doing in Sevier County! The series is called THE PROGRAM: PRISON DETOX. It is available on Discovery Plus now.
We have created C4JT as a ministry to jail leaders (sheriffs, judges, administrators, chaplains, and concerned community leaders), to give them guidance in bringing the transforming power of the Gospel, the resources of the local church, and the power of Christian volunteers to bear on the culture, programs, and results of their jail. We sense that there is a tsunami wave coming since there are over 3,000 local jails in the U.S., of which about 80% of them have 200 beds or less. In other words, there are hundreds and hundreds of jails with the potential to wake up and say, “How can we help people be better when they leave our jail?”
Here is a great quote that makes this opportunity very clear:
"No doubt, the criminal element is a cancer in our society. Is it better to treat that cancer at stage 3 or 4 with a 30% chance of success? Or does logic dictate that better results can be achieved if we treat it at stage 1 or 2 with a 70% chance of success? For better than half of a century we have treated this problem at stage 3 or 4, with little or no attention paid to the early stages of criminal activity, where we can do the most good.
"[People need] front-end redirection at a small-county level with a low-cost, community-based program structure. [A people-oriented approach improves the] jail atmosphere and not only reduces risk to staff but can also reduce operating costs.
"There are many low-cost programs and free resources that can improve public opinion and return these individuals to become productive citizens while benefiting facilities that house them by controlling costs, improving officer safety, and strengthening inmate behavior control."
--Lt. Anthony "Tony" Hardee, Caldwell County Sheriff's Office, Lockhart, Texas, Pioneer of the model program "The Little County That Could"
The basic premise of C4JT is that when the leadership of a small jail has the epiphany of wanting people to be better when they leave the jail than when they came in, there should be a basic roadmap that any jail could follow to get them started on the path of transformation. Our flagship product, the Roadmap to Jail Transformation, provides just that - for FREE!
We have organized as a Christ-centered ministry with a strong Board of Directors, clear vision, excellent business plan, and 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. Our vision is to reach hundreds of jails in the next five years with our free roadmap, resources, consulting, support, and more. We plan to host an annual conference for transforming jail leaders, volunteers, local church leaders, etc. We have several other powerful initiatives in the planning stages, all of which will require the time, talent, and treasures of our supporters, volunteers, and the Body of Christ at large.
Will you join us in the exciting new venture? Jesus said, “I am telling you the truth: those who believe in me will do what I do--yes, they will do even greater things, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12, Good News Translation) We envision a great army of Christians, who believe in the promise of greater works in these last days, who embrace their local jails, empowered with the tools of transformation.
Our current plan is to raise funds through donations and grants for the first three years, then to be fully self-funding by Day 1 of Year 4. Please contact us for a strategic conversation or to request more details about our plans, methods, resources, etc.
Please join us in this great adventure that we call “LOCAL JAILS: THE MISSION FIELD NEXT DOOR”!