Building hope through restorative justice!
More than 2.5 million juveniles are arrested every year in America and 70% of juveniles convicted of crimes have gone on to commit crimes again. With Our U.S. prison population increasing 15 times faster than the general population, the urgency for youth intervention has never been greater!
Turning the tide of juvenile delinquency one child at a time
First and foremost, Breakaway is a ministry of presence. We communicate the Good News of God’s unconditional love and mercy to those incarcerated, engaging young people as they are met in a variety of youth-serving institutions (detention centers, probation, correctional facilities, group homes, residential treatment centers and emergency shelters). These valued relationships are sustained through ongoing involvement as they reenter their communities.
We affirm each person, not necessarily their behavior, and invite them to grow as sons and daughters of God. Our work takes place within the facilities we serve and extends to the families and community outside. We recognize our responsibility to educate those who have not experienced the people we serve as valuable individuals. We are called to champion the Spirit of Christ for the poor and marginalized; the hungry, thirsty, naked, stranger, sick and… the imprisoned. Bringing hope to those behind bars is not just an act of charity, it is at the very heart of what it means to live a Gospel-centered life.
Breakaway provides juvenile justice ministries and chaplaincy programs for young people locked up in juvenile detention centers and youthful offender prisons, and is the pilot for a national network of like-minded juvenile justice ministries. Some of our initiatives are:
- Small group Bible studies
- Creating Bible study curriculum and discipleship resources
- Entrepreneurial training workshops in juvenile centers
- “Breakaway X-perience” sports outreaches
- Counseling, mentoring relationships, and recovery groups
- Aftercare assistance and re-entry support
- Summer camps for younger siblings of incarcerated teens
Most of the kids who commit crimes suffer from the impact of a broken family, the lack of positive peers, and a cultural epidemic of violence and abandoned morals. Juvenile correctional institutions today are filled with kids from urban, suburban, and rural America.
Regardless of where kids come from, the majority of them will be going back to their communities, perhaps in your neighborhood. We can choose to discard them, but we cannot deny that Jesus Christ died for them. We must remember that those who deserve love the least need it the most!
What Do They Need?
One study indicated that 94% of incarcerated youth have never had one single positive adult male role model that was consistently present in their life! Another study indicated that 84% of the boys who become serious juvenile offenders have parents with criminal records. It is quite clear that at-risk young people are in desperate need of healthy relationships with adults.
The Justice Department reports that over 2-million American children have a mother or a father in federal or state prison. Of these children, 1.38 million live in homes without their fathers. A study presented to the American Sociological Association showed that these boys with absentee fathers are twice as likely to end up in prison as those who come from two-parent families.
Our Mission Field
These kids are desperate for a family, positive relationships, and godly influences in their lives. We can sit back and watch young offenders get caught up in the cycle of becoming “lifers,” or we can intervene today and help them “breakaway” from a troubled past and become socially responsible, contributing adults in our society.
The juvenile justice ministry of Breakaway Outreach is restoring hope, reshaping destinies, and rewriting the stories of those who have been impeded by the chains of delinquency.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or are just interested in learning more about our ministry, contact us for more info.
Breakaway Stories and Testimonies