Gratitude for the Leadership 100 Grant

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Our deepest gratitude to Leadership 100 for their grant to Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry which allowed OCPM to “visit” more prisoners through correspondence during the challenging year of 2020 when most prisons were in lockdown. Reaching prisoners by mail was more needed than ever. Read about this major grant from “The Leader, Volume 22, Issue 2” below:

“The Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM)
utilized a redirected Leadership 100 grant of $48,000 to
maintain relationships and correspondence with
approximately 3,400 inmates who are either Orthodox
Christians or inquirers to the Faith. This included but
was not limited to, personalized correspondence, formal
catechism classes, books, Bible studies, and religious
reflections. The grant allowed OCPM to “visit” prisoners
with more than 44,300 pieces of mail.

As of January of 2021, there have been at least 343,008
positive cases of Covid-19 for people in prison according
to a data collection of the Marshall Project and
Associated Press (there are no collective statistics
provided by the government). The coronavirus has killed
prisoners in most correctional systems, with more than
2,144 deaths reported. The situation has been dire in
some states like Kentucky, where 1 in 312 prisoners have
died from the coronavirus, 4.9 times the rate in Kentucky
overall.

As in-person visitation from Orthodox clergy and lay
ministers ground to a halt in March 2020, OCPM used
the Leadership 100 grant money to remotely offer
spiritual care to men and women in prison through the
mail.

The demand for correspondence ministry is massive and
is serving as a true outlet for prisoners to maintain
human contact.

Via post mail, in addition to personal pastoral care,
OCPM provides catechism and theological training and
generic mailings such as bible studies, encouraging
postcards, and Icons to those in prison.

OCPM publishes Orthodox books for in-prison
purposes. These books have been specifically designed
and printed to meet the intense security restrictions on
what is permitted to enter correctional facilities. Due to
the demand for OCPM’s publications, this grant also
enabled OCPM to print and provide new copies.

In the current situation, OCPM also maintains ongoing
support for men and women who were previously
incarcerated and have been released. Guidance and
emotional support are given to the formerly incarcerated
via phone, text messages, emails, mail and/or in person.”