A Short Stay in Jail is Often a Spiritual Wake-up Call

(Image courtesy of Crossroads Prison Ministries)

What would you guess is the difference in length between jail time and a prison sentence? The average prisoner in the United States is sentenced to a little over 12 years in prison. But a stay for someone in jail typically lasts just 21 days.

Crossroads Prison Ministries connects men and women in prison with Christian mentors through mail-in Bible studies. It can take several weeks for just one Bible study letter to go between the Crossroads student and the mentor. So what about those serving shorter stints behind jail bars?

John Byrne, the Director of Student Programming with Crossroads says, “Typically, for a Crossroads lesson, it takes four to six weeks [for] turnaround. So a student gets a lesson booklet from us, they do the work, they send it back to us at Crossroads, [and] it goes to a volunteer who reviews it and sends it to a mentor. The mentor then reviews the lesson, writes some comments, and then writes a letter to the student.

“The jail population is very transient. Typically, they don’t have enough time to get very far into the Crossroads coursework because they’re there for such a short amount of time.”

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Around one-third of Crossroads’ student enrollment comes from men and women serving jail time. Most of them are out of jail before they can finish a Crossroads course.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh


  • Pray for men and women in jail to sense their need for a Savior in Jesus Christ.
  • Ask God to make Himself known in mighty ways, renewing hearts and minds for the Kingdom.
  • Become a mentor with Crossroads Prison Ministries!

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