Thank you to The Post and Courier for the article on the Jumpstart Prison Ministry, titled "Re-entry program gives inmates a jump start on life after release."
The Jumpstart Prison Ministry has saved the state of South Carolina millions of dollars in the past five years, and it will save us tens of millions over the next 10 years by dramatically lowering the rate of recidivism in our state prison system. Lowering the rate of return to prison has already allowed the state to close three prisons, saving taxpayers millions annually.
Jumpstart is so powerfully effective and promising that it has governors of neighboring states calling and asking for help bringing it to their states.
What makes Jumpstart work? Founder Tim Terry figured it out while still sitting on the prison yard. His heart was changed when a Kairos Prison Ministry team came into McCormick Correctional Institution and convinced him that God could forgive him and that his future was more important than his past.
He began to think about why men would get out and come right back. He began to interview them. The questions were consistent, and the answers were simple: 1) I don't have anywhere to go, and I have no place to live 2) I don't have a job, and nobody will hire me 3) I don't have a support group or mentor to help me when I am in crisis.
Jumpstart begins to work with these men and women two years before they are released. While they are still in prison, they are taught what they need to succeed. When they get out, these three needs are met by the program, and these men and women are succeeding in record numbers.
As someone who has tried to help Jumpstart get started in Charleston, the big challenge is housing. Real estate is very expensive in the Lowcountry. We need homes to restore and use for transitional houses.
We need jobs, but many employers are eager to help us there, because they have heard and seen the work ethic of Jumpstart participants. We need churches and mentors, and they are stepping up. We need homes that people might contribute or sell us inexpensively, and the funds to restore these homes.
If you are in a position to help us, please contact my office at 843-971-8801, and we will help facilitate your gift to Jumpstart, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Any gift you make is tax deductible.
David G. Phillips
Custom Development Solutions