Tags: Alaska, SEND North, Counseling, Story

Serving jail time for two years can still be a life sentence.

Once they have gone through “the system,” many inmates come from jail and prison marked by their past decisions. Time in prison has taught them that they are criminals and hopeless to change. So when they get out, they act on these beliefs. While it is unfortunate how many offenders return to jail because of their post-release decisions, organizations like KAMP help affect the cycle so inmates can choose a better life.

Kodiak Area Mentoring Program (KAMP) is a ministry in Kodiak, Alaska focused on inmate rehabilitation. Mentors speak to inmates while they are still in prison about the Gospel and what it means to have a purpose in life beyond crime. With the Gospel, they see how they are not defined by their sins, but there is a chance for redemption through Christ.

If inmates respond well to the mentorship program, KAMP team members offer a variety of services post-release. They will pick up inmates at the jail on their release date to bring them to safe housing. They will help build resumes, drive them to interviews, and whatever else they need to surround the individuals with a positive community, so the temptation to fall back into crime is lessened.

Every Friday, KAMP hosts a free dinner and Bible Study that includes a sharing time for these individuals to talk about their struggles in a safe, encouraging environment. The results have proven so positive; other nationwide programs are looking to the KAMP model as a guide.

For one couple, two years in jail could have been the end to a hopeful future. Their life sentence of condemnation was before their eyes. But, the couple found the Lord in jail and came out ready for a change. Today, they are mentors in KAMP and have shared their story with many. Their family is reunited now, and they have no temptation for drugs, alcohol, or crime because their desires are fixed on Jesus. For this couple, their entire lives, and their children’s lives, could have been defined by their time served and their crime. Instead, their time in jail led them to the Lord and offered them a future better than they would have had prior to their jail experience.

To learn more about KAMP’s impact, visit their website. (