Indigenous Programs

These are just a small sample of the over 500 programs run by the Prison Fellowship network of national ministries.

Victim and Offender Counseling

Ministry teams in Germany, the Netherlands, and Malaysia offer counseling services to those who need it. Studies have concluded that these programs have high client satisfaction rates, victim participation rates, restitution completion rates, and result in reduced fear among victims and reduced criminal behavior by offenders.

Post-War Transition Restorative Justice Public Policy Support

From 2001–03, Prison Fellowship Rwanda worked to prepare prisoners accused of genocide to meet their victims, survivors, and community members during that country’s Gacacahearings. Together we developed the Umuvumu Tree Project, trained local facilitators, and implemented the project in Rwanda’s genocide prisons and communities. Nine months later, the number of prisoners willing to confess and participate in Gacaca had increased from 5,000 to 40,000.

Prison Fellowship Colombia conducted the first national symposium on restorative justice for justice system officials in 2003. This led to further interventions: staff testified before Parliamentary committees, addressed the Colombian Senate, and provided training to prosecutors and judges on UN guidelines for using restorative justice. Prison Fellowship Colombia has pioneered the use of the Sycamore Tree Project in cases of homicide and adapted it further to facilitate the implementation of peace agreements with paramilitary and guerrilla groups.

Community Reintegration

Community reintegration programs, to help released prisoners become part of their communities, exist all over the world. In Romania, Malawi, and Israel, the national ministries run half-way homes to support released prisoners until they are able to live independently. Canada, Barbados, and Australia offer aftercare support to continue helping prisoners while they reintegrate themselves into the community.

Villages of Restoration

Prison Fellowship Rwanda manages seven “reconciliation villages” in which perpetrators of the genocide, survivors, and returned exiles live together in peace. Prison Fellowship Colombia has also found success with Villages of Restoration.