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Prison Ministry

Prison Ministry in the Diocese of Arlington is a pastoral care ministry whereby the Christian Community shares in the healing ministry of Christ. It is a ministry of presence and witness.

Welcome Home Re-entry Program

One-fourth to one-half of those leaving jail recidivate –or return- within three years of their release. Reintegration into the community is crucial to providing stability and long-term success for our returning citizens.

Therefore, we seek to reduce recidivism, educate the community and develop strong systems of support, by building relationships and matching returning individuals with compassionate volunteer mentors from communities of faith and civic organizations. 

We aim to:

 

  • Build a network that offers transformational support for the formerly incarcerated
  • Help prevent returning citizens from falling back to previous mistakes by aiding them find and follow a path to a new career and life
  • Recruit and train volunteer mentors from community and faith-based organizations
  • Welcome the formerly incarcerated; remind them that they have dignity and are cherished by God, their creator.

Prison Ministry Brochures:

Transitional Assistance Program
The Transitional Assistance Program (TAP) is an all-volunteer Loudoun County community-based program, sponsored by St. John the Apostle Catholic Church and Catholic Charities, assisting those immediately upon release from the Loudoun ADC.

Welcome Home Re-entry Info Sheet
Learn more about how we endeavor to create community for those leaving jail and connect them with resources through our Welcome Home R-entry Program.


Additional Prison Ministry Programs

Prison Ministry in the local jails and VA state prisons

Prison Ministry is facilitated through a network of parish-based volunteers from throughout the diocese who offer spiritual and emotional assistance to the imprisoned, including those who are being released, and to their victims and families.

Catholic Charities supports the efforts of the parishes to hold ministries in regional and state jails within the Diocese of Arlington. Our volunteers also support Kairos Prison Ministry at four locations.

Catholic Charities assists with recruitment of volunteers, provides missals and hymnals and other materials, hosts a Christmas Mass in Jail with the Bishop, assists with arranging for priest visits, and supports the Jail Ministry Program Coordinators in their work at the locations below. Catholic Charities serves as a focal point to answer questions from members of the diocese on prisons, friends in prison, and related inquiries. Catholic Charities ministry also acts as a conduit to share pertinent information among parish groups.

Upon request, Catholic Charities will provide talks to adult and youth religious education groups. Each year, we provide Christmas cards for the incarcerated to use to send to their loved ones. We will also work with jails within the Diocese to initiate prison ministry programs.

Current locations of Jail & Prison Ministry Programs by location and by Parish (Feb. 2017)

Alexandria Adult Detention Center, Basilica of St. Mary

Arlington County Adult Detention Center, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church

Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, St. Leo the Great Catholic Church

Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, St. John the Apostle Catholic Church

Prince William - Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center, All Saints Catholic Church

Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church

Coffeewood Correctional Facility, Precious Blood Catholic Church

Kairos at Buckingham Correctional Center, Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, Virginia Correctional Center for Women (Goochland, VA), and Nottoway Correctional Center

 

At these locations, Jail Ministry Volunteers of the parish and local community bring the message of hope and the unconditional love of God to the inmates, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the ministry of presence, celebration of liturgies, reception of sacraments, study of faith and Holy Scripture. Volunteers provide opportunities of witness to the Faith and evangelization to the unbaptized and those that seek union with the Catholic Faith. Each location has various schedules, times and needs.

Bill Hall is the Catholic Charities Coordinator of Prison Ministry. For information regarding locations, times, opportunities, and the application process for volunteering inside the jails and prisons, please contact him at whall@ccda.net or call him at (703) 841-3832.

Welcome Back Backpacks

Catholic Charities is currently providing backpacks to those leaving jail. These backpacks demonstrate our love for our brothers and sisters. They contain toiletries and other needed survival items. We also include hand-written welcome notes, religious materials, and a gift card for the recipient. Donations for this project gratefully appreciated. We rely on groups to hold backpack drives to support this effort. For information on this service project, contact volunteer@ccda.net

Transitional Assistance Program

The Transitional Assistance Program (TAP) is an all-volunteer Loudoun County community-based program sponsored by St. John the Apostle Catholic Church of Leesburg, VA and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington.

Provide transitional assistance to individuals leaving the Loudoun Adult Detention Center (ADC) prior to and on release day.

  • Offer spiritual guidance and strength from the teachings of the Church and the Bible, rosaries, prayer cards and other devotional materials.
  • Supply transportation and basic items on day of release.
  • Help to obtain information for social services, shelter, job opportunities and other post release needs.
  • Set up contact with family and/or other loved ones.
  • Provide breakfast/lunch on day of release and limited follow-up mentoring and spiritual support.

Interested in volunteering with TAP in Loudoun? Sign up here!

 

Partner with us!

There are other organizations we would like to reach out to see how we can work together to create a network of services to our brothers and sisters re-joining us in the community. Volunteers are needed to help us with this effort.

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How do I become a volunteer mentor?

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Will receive continued support and training from mentoring team
  • Ability to look at an ex-offender’s problem objectively and relate to individuals with a variety of socio-economic backgrounds without judgement
  • Commitment to mentor for up to 6 months
  • Available the first 30 days of release (up to 6 hours per week) and then able to meet at least weekly with your mentee
  • Must complete online application, background check and training

 

Sign up here to volunteer to be a Welcome Home Re-entry Volunteer Mentor.

 

How can I volunteer for this program without being a mentor?

We have a variety of projects and needs to help this vital program continue to grow. If you are interested in helping out more behind-the-scenes, please email volunteer@ccda.net for more information. 

Are there any service projects for youth groups or schools?

Yes! We provide each returning citizen with a backpack full of hygienic items and words of encouragement the day of their release.

If your group is interested in our Welcome Back Backpack project, please read this guide.

Dan getting a homemade card

"Helping somebody else stay sober and helping somebody else do good is helping me stay sober,” he said. “I want to be someone who proved to other people that even the best of us fall down and some of us fall down really hard, but it’s about getting up and not falling down again, learning and moving forward.”