A reintegration program that brings together released prisoners in North Bohemia. The program has met regularly for 15 years.
After Care Mentoring Program
Volunteers care intensively for the released inmates. Each volunteer cares for 3- 8 ex-prisoners. Mentors are Christians recommended by their churches. Mentoring starts by meeting the prisoner inside prison and by creating an individual plan. Mentoring follows the preparation for release inside 8 prisons and exceptionally MVS accepts to mentoring projects also released prisoners that MVS got in touch by pen writing service or who are recommended by the prison chaplains or social workers.
This project started in 2017 and is dedicated to children of prisoners, mainly those who participated at Angel Tree® project. Each year, 22-25 children aged 7-14 years old participate in the program. There is always a high number of camp leaders from different churches, for two children one leader, in order to be able to understand well the specific needs of each child, to listen to him or her and to help solve problems connected with incardination of the parent. Then continues to work with family. The leaders are not paid, they participate on camp in time of their regular holidays and they pay the camp costs themselves. The camp is fully free for children as well as the travel costs. Volunteers help the children to get to the camp from the different parts of the Czech Republic.
Christmas project of sending gifts to children of prisoners started in 2011 by buying and sending the first 100 gifts to families of inmates with personal letters of incarcerated mom or dad to child. In 2018 the Christmas gift was sent to 1140 children. Volunteers call to each family and they ask for the wish or need of the child. Then they buy the gift, pack it and send together with the letter of the parent to the family. The average cost of the gift is 500 CZK, plus 100 CZK postage. The gift must be a new thing bought like for own child, never a used toy.
Change Is Possible/Preparation for Release & Aftercare
Project is faith based and prepares inmates for at least 6 months before release and then at least 6 months till several years in the aftercare. In 8 prisons for men and women there are groups of 15- 35 inmates that meet on a regular base with 4-8 MVS mentors from different churches. The vision for each inmate is to change his or her life, to understand well the ethical values, to be able to accept own responsibility for the crime and start a new way of life. After the 6 months or longer preparation, MVS volunteers wait for offenders at the gate of the prisons and the accompany the ex-offenders on freedom and help them to create a new life in a very practical way. Each year about 250 men and women uses this care of Christians. This form of help and support is unique by its Christian dimension, in respecting the high value of each human being, and by possibility to help financially to each released person: paying accommodation, food, clothes or medicines for the clients from the gifts of individual believers or from church groups.
Club 2 Fish
From the year 2012 MVS leads on a regular base a unique Club for released inmates who have no family background. Clients and volunteers dine together, they share their latest news and pray together. All clients are receiving food from the Food Bank: milk, bread, fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, hygienic items, but also clothes and shoes and many other items. During the years, Club has hosted and helped high number of former inmates and homeless people and helped them to find accommodation and jobs and friendships with mentors.
Concert 5 Faces of the Wall
Concert 5 Faces of the Wall with personal testimonies of prisoners, ex- offenders, children of prisoners, family members of prisoners, victims of crime and prison directors in Senate House of the Parliament of CR is prepared annually since 2012.
Concerts for Prisoners
We organize concerts for prisoners in the prisons and share with them the personal testimonies of people who have found a new purpose in life.
Day with My Child
A whole day program for inmates (fathers) and their families -meeting inside prison yard (garden), 12 families at each prison, three times a year. Prayers, games, competitions, a lot of fun, Christian music concert, art, counseling, common preparation of meals, eating together, creating letters of love for fathers and for children.
Pen writing and packages for prisoners, 30 offenders monthly, spiritual leading of inmates. The letters are supervised, and the volunteers are trained. In many case prisoners ask for packages with food, hygienic items or dresses or papers and pens, also books and Bibles.
Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace®: Justice and Peace
Eight-week restorative program based on Zacchaeus Story – a restorative dialogue between groups of non-related inmates and victims of crime, meeting every week inside prison for 3 hours. It is not only a restorative justice program, but also faith-based program, using Bible stories and prayers as a tool.
Week of Prayer
Week of prayers has been translated from 2011 and held in CZ in cooperation with churches.
Czech Republic Stats
- Prisons Visited: 10
- Prisoners Served: 476
- Children of Prisoners Served: 1,126
- Churches Engaged: 25
- Paid Staff: 14
- Volunteers: 600
- Ex-Prisoners: 300