Good News Jail & Prison Ministry provides over 425 staff chaplains, serving 361 institutions in 24 states, and 21 other countries. Good News Jail & Prison Ministry was founded in Virginia at the Fairfax County Detention Center in December, 1961. This ministry states that it formed for the purposes of providing a visitation program for the benefit of inmates; witnessing to inmates and their families; aiding in a physical and spiritual rehabilitation of those released from an institution; and provision of an educational program within the institutions to provide formal education to the inmates. Good News Jail & Prison Ministry serves the Richmond area through the Henrico County Jail West. The chaplains are predominantly Protestant.
Among Good News Jail & Prison Ministries, the most influential programs are the Bible Correspondence Course and the Life Learning Program. The Bible Correspondence Course was developed by Good News staff and consists of individual Bible studies that allows inmates to expand their knowledge of the Bible. When the inmate completes all 224 individual studies, a course completion certificate is received, along with a brand new “Award Bible.” The Life Learning Program is intended to teach inmates how to apply the scripture’s message in daily living. The program relies on personal responsibility and accountability of the inmates. Inmates must request to be in this program as well as be recommended by a chaplin on site.
Good News Jail & Prison Ministries has been and is primarily funded by the gifts and donations of interested individuals, businesses, and churches. Sporadic financial aid is received through foundations and grants. Good News has not accepted any financial support from federal, state, or local tax revenues, and Good News intends to continue to provide crucial services at no cost to the local tax-paying citizen.Good News is administered by a president who is accountable to a Board of Directors. As a Charter Member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), Good News fully subscribes to the ECFA standards of responsible stewardship and fund-raising. Membership in ECFA is annually renewable and is subject to providing a completed audit proving adherence to ECFA standards.
Good News Jail & Prison Ministries offers many opportunities to become involved in the ministry. Praying for the ministries, chaplains and staff, as well as the inmates, victims and families is a form of volunteering for the ministries. Volunteers can also copy and distribute Bible study materials to go to prisons and jails. Financial help includes sponsoring the cost of videophone call from families to inmates; provide meeting space, sponsoring a chaplain, or collecting clothing, hygiene supplies, and a petty cash allowance for inmates requiring assistance at time of their release. Volunteers can video Sunday worship services with music ministry for rebroadcast to inmates or invite a chaplain to visit their church. The most common volunteer work contributed to the ministries is agreeing to write letters to inmates.
Good News Jail & Prison Ministry
2230 East Parham Road
Richmond VA 23228(804)-553-4090
Good News Jail & Prison Ministry
Henrico County Jail West Chaplain
Profile prepared by Kristen Smith