Prison Ministry

The biblical concept of justice focuses on the victim, the offender and the community, in the hope of restoring all to a sense of God’s wholeness. It is also important to understand that our Methodist heritage is rich with examples of ministries carried out in jails and prisons. John and Charles Wesley had a passion for those in prison. As early as 1778, the Methodist Conference adopted action making it the duty of every Methodist preacher to minister to those who were incarcerated. United Methodists have reaffirmed and expanded the mandate for prison ministry and reform in many different chapters of our denominational history. This is a part of our identity and call.

Adapted from Mission Plan for Restorative Justice Ministries from The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church, 2012.

EPA Conference Committee on Prison Ministry and Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice: Healing the Effects of Crime

Goal: Ecumenical collaboration to provide support through advocacy, education, restorative justice and resources for individuals, families and communities affected by the criminal justice system. Everyone can do something!

Rev. Marilyn Schneider
Chairperson, Committee on Prison Ministry and Restorative Justice

2020 Christmas Cards for Inmates Program


  1. How to get started – READ THIS FIRST!
  2. Instructions for how to produce the cards
  3. Informational flyer for promotion
  4. New this year: Flyer designed to fit in sandwich bags
  5. New this year: Pick-up/Drop-off Locations & Instructions

The Christmas Cards:

Why is Prison Ministry & Restorative Justice Important?

  • As Christians we are called to do this: Matthew 25:36b “I was in prison and you visited me”
  • Hebrews 13:3a “Remember those who are in prison as though you are in prison with them”
  • John Wesley believed that personal holiness needs to lead to social holiness and social justice.  He ministered in prisons beginning in 1730.
  • Currently a large no of people in the US are under control of the criminal justice system
  • The costs to incarcerate people are considerable.  If we can help prevent situations that lead to incarceration, and help those who are incarcerated avoid recidivism, we will not only save money but will gain as these individuals contribute in a positive manner to society.

Prison Ministry & Restorative Justice Resources

  • True Justice: A powerful film in which Bryan Stevenson shows how we will need to deal with our past in order to ensure we can provide equal justice for all in the present.  A tremendous resource for education and group discussion. Click here to watch this film for free on youtube.