PATHWAY TO FREEDOM

On May 31, 2019, We Care Program accepted the ownership of Pathway To Freedom. In this intensive Christian disciple-making program, incarcerated men and women study various subjects designed to help them grow spiritually, as well as in their life skills. The goal is to help inmates draw closer to Christ so that when they leave prison, they will be able to successfully re-enter society and live as productive, God-honoring citizens

In 1997, Prison Fellowship started a two-year program called InnerChange Freedom Initiative at the Carol Vance Prison in Sugarland, Texas. By 2003, its graduates had achieved a recidivism rate of less than 10 percent. Efforts to bring this structured program to Alabama were unsuccessful. Consequently, New Beginnings Foundation, Inc. (NBFI) was formed by Ken Brothers in June 2003 with the intent to develop and bring a similar program into existence in Alabama. In April 2004 Mr. Brothers and NBFI began negotiations with the Alabama Department of Corrections to introduce Pathway To Freedom (PTF) in one prison. On June 19, 2007, Commissioner Richard Allen signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NBFI to allow PTF to begin. The program started at Kilby CF in Montgomery in September 2007. PTF expanded to Montgomery Women's Facility in 2008. Tutwiler Annex was added in 2009 and the main campus of Tutwiler in 2012. This allowed ladies to remain in PTF despite frequent transfers between the three facilities. In 2012, the program at Kilby was transferred to Staton CF, where it is still ongoing today.

Recidivism of PTF participants and graduates stands at 4.58 percent. This statistic covers the period of 2007-2018 with 240 men and women released, of which only 11 have returned to prison.

The founder of NBFI and PTF, Ken Brothers, retired from active in-prison ministry in July 2018 in order to focus on launching a transitional support phase of prison ministry. The first facility of this new ministry, Landing Zones, is under construction/renovation in central Alabama. The facility will accommodate up to four women who graduated from PTF in prison and have been released from their incarceration. Landing Zone Central anticipates being operational sometime in 2019.

Because of Mr. Brothers' change of focus, NBFI sought another organization to take ownership of PTF's in-prison program. In May of 2019, We Care Program accepted the ownership and is now giving leadership to the program. We Care has a goal to expand PTF beyond the handful of prisons where it is currently offered.

In order to expand this program, we need funding and teachers. We Care is currently looking for teachers to help with the classes being taught at Staton CF and in the women's prisons in the Montgomery area. Contributions can be made online (see our giving tab) or by sending donations to our office. Gifts for this purpose should be clearly designated for PTF. If you would like to know more about how you can get involved or support Pathway To Freedom, please contact our Vice President, Kevin Kennell, at kevin@wecareprogram.org.

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