The SET FREE INDEED name comes from John 8:36 (“If the Son has set you free you shall be free indeed).
The goals are to see at-risk teens rescued before they enter the system, incarcerated teens motivated and mentored so they will turn a corner after their release, to help incarcerated men develop a new mindset and goals to position them for a better future, and to provide practical helps to exiting inmates to assist with their successful reentry into the community. The goals are huge, but so is the problem. The justice system is broken. I am conservative in my thinking and believe crime should be punished, but I know that many who are incarcerated should not be in prison, and many leave bitter and hardened after serving time. The SET FREE program leaders believe all is forgivable and restoration is possible. We believe that with God’s help, a little love and counsel, and practical helps/resources, the recidivism rate can be significantly reduced, broken lives and families can find healing, and the lost can find hope.
The ministry recently received approval for its 501-c3 application and is currently filing for a name-change amendment (from JTO, which had a teen-only focus, to SET FREE INDEED, which will offer assistance to teens and adult men).
The SET FREE program will:
- Offer one-on-one consulting services for incarcerated individuals and/or their families
- Provide mentor and literature resources to at-risk teens
- Provide literature, hope, and second chance helps to incarcerated teens
- Offer incarcerated men literature and counsel to aid in their preparation for a successful exit, hope, gang alternatives, and JPay contact support
- Provide existing men who shared in the above program support, counsel, and mentoring for one year after their exit (the mentor will assist with housing, transportation, education, and vocational needs).
- The Teen-focused programming will fall under the name, JTO
- The Adult-focused program will fall under the name, SET FREE
At this time, we are developing two websites, finalizing a collection of resources (including books and workbooks) and contacting Congressional Representatives and Governors to introduce the program.
Next steps will include soliciting grants and connecting with rescue missions and state agencies to collect contact information for helpful social services (employment, education, housing, food, vocational training, medical, counseling, etc.).
Our goal is to launch an 18-month pilot program, involving up to 2000 individuals by the fall of 2022.
Please use our CONTACT form if you would like to share a question or prayer request, volunteer to be a mentor, pen-pal or counselor, or information on making a donation. Thank you!