1 out of every 28 school-aged children in America has a parent in jail or prison. That’s over 2.7 million kids.

Since 1982, Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program has been working to provide Christmas gifts for these young people, and on this edition of Connecting Faith we’re privileged to hear the stories of Angel Tree volunteers, recipients, and the CEO of Prison Fellowship Jim Liske.

Since assuming his position of leadership in 2011, Jim has overseen Prison Fellowship’s efforts to build the church inside America’s prison walls, advocate for principles of restorative criminal justice at the state and national levels, and empower churches to influence the culture as an expression of a holistic Christian worldview. He gives us a glimpse inside the ministry with a special focus on how you can impact a child’s life this Christmas as we talk Angel Tree. Here’s where our conversation takes us:

Many would say that our criminal justice system is – if not broken – in serious need of repair. What works and what doesn’t when it comes to our system today? Jim says that, despite serious faults, we have the best criminal justice system in the world, and we’re privileged to live in a democracy.

Jim believes that for too long we’ve simply focused on how to take bad people out of our neighborhoods. Instead we should be asking how we can bring good people home?

There are a staggering 65 million Americans with a criminal record. What are the implications of the magnitude of the issue?

Children are the first victims of the crime committed by a parent who is incarcerated. That sobering statistic we opened with is true – 1 in every 28 school aged kids has an imprisoned parent. So for 38 years Angel Tree has been ministering to them.

To learn more about how you can support Angel Tree Click Here. 

As we see the work of an organization like this, what can the church learn about our role to families impacted by incarceration?

Highlight: The look

Gift of a lifetime

Scripture focus: Romans 8:28