Why Prisoners

Prisoners are one of the least-reached groups in the world...

Locked away and cut off from society

they reside in a culture that does not rehabilitate

and is often based on the threat of violence.

Many serve their entire sentences without hearing about God’s mercy and forgiveness.

The Problem

Prisoners around the world are cut off from their community, their family, and God.
More than 10 million prisoners worldwide are locked away and forgotten. Cut off from society, they reside in a culture that does not rehabilitate and is often based on the threat of violence.
The children and families of prisoners are among the world’s most forgotten populations. Many are hidden from society, living in remote, hard-to-reach communities and experiencing extreme poverty.
Prisoners are isolated, rejected, and cut off from society. Many never experience the love of Jesus or encounter His transformational message of hope.

Our Solution


Prison Fellowship Zambia combats health problems in the prisons through health education sessions. They work in collaboration with the government to provide mobile clinics in prisons, which are staffed by volunteer health workers who also train prisoners as peer health educators to support proper health practices among inmates.

Our Work In Africa


A prison director witnessed reduced violence in his prison among those who completed The Prisoner’s Journey®.

“[It] lowered their levels of anxiety and violence. Prison staff noticed a change in the sections of the prison they inhabited and in their interactions with prison staff and peers. The inmates started to self-mediate their conflicts. Prisoners began trying to solve situations peacefully.”

—Flavia, Prison Director, Comcar Prison, Uruguay

Our Work In Latin America


In 2013, Amnesty International reported only 18% of Liberia’s 1,700 prisoners were serving a sentence for a crime. The rest were still waiting to be tried, with the length of the pre-trial detention often longer than the possible maximum sentence. Prison Fellowship Liberia culled their legal resources to mediate for those accused of civil violations. Within five years, over 1,000 of the detainees were released back into their communities, alleviating the burden of overcrowding.


“The Colonel who runs [an] overcrowded prison in Lebanon told us it was calmer and easier to run in the four months since Sycamore Tree Project®: Justice and Peace started.”

—Dan Van Ness, founder of PFI’s Centre for Justice and Reconciliation


A prisoner who completed The Prisoner’s Journey® received a sentence reduction. Although the program is not designed to reduce penalties, it has served as a benchmark for the authorities to recognize a prisoner’s transformation and ultimately restore a prisoner.


In Lago, at Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, 66 inmates graduated the pilot launch of Sycamore Tree Project®: Justice and Peace.

“Inmates who started the program full of bitterness and unforgiveness have not only forgiven themselves but… expressed regret. They read letters of apology, as well as covenants for a new life the prepared during the course. Many expressed readiness to meet with their victims if given the opportunity, in order to seek forgiveness.”

—Prison Fellowship Nigeria Director, Benson Usowanne


Making a Difference in the Lives of Prisoners

Making a Difference in the Lives of Prisoners

Signature In-Prison Programs

The Prisoner’s Journey®, is running in 508 prisons around the world. Through an eight-week study of the Book of Mark prisoners learn about Jesus the Prisoner and what He means for their lives. As prisoners transform at a heart-level, their chances of thriving outside of prison dramatically increase, impacting the individual, prison culture, and local communities.

Prison Fellowship International’s victim-offender reconciliation program, Sycamore Tree Project®: Justice and Peace, now in 78 prisons, is helping shift prison environments from violence to peace. Officials regularly report a reduction in violence once prisoners learn about accepting responsibility and offering forgiveness.


Join the Journey

By choosing to care for prisoners, you are helping to transform their lives, restore family relationships, and build safer communities.

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