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Hundreds of Law-Abiding Ohio Volunteers Go to Prison

550 Buckeye State Residents and 50 Churches Join Most Extensive Faith-Based Prisoner Reform Effort Ever to Make Ohio Communities Safer

AUG. 12-20: Operation Starting Line--86 Events in 42 Adult & Youth Facilities

Contact: Michelle Farmer, 770-813-0000, 770-757-4900 cell, www.DeMossNewsPond.com/osl

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 2, /Christian Newswire/ -- Governor Bob Taft and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction are currently implementing The Ohio Plan for Productive Offender Reentry and Recidivism Reduction, with the goal of the safe and successful return of offenders from Ohio prisons to communities across the state. It is a challenge that extends beyond the Ohio borders to all states across the country:

  • Some 700,000 inmates will be released from America’s prisons and 67 percent will be arrested for another crime within three years (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2001).
  • Seventy percent of Americans favor rehabilitative services for prisoners both during incarceration and after release (Zogby International public opinion poll, February 2006), but state corrections budgets are strapped to adequately allocate dollars to prisoner re-entry.

To help meet the daunting need for prisoner rehabilitation, private, not-for-profit organizations are uniting with government to tackle the issue. Operation Starting Line, a partnership of volunteers from local churches and 30 national faith-based organizations, comes to Ohio for the first time Aug. 12 - 20 to launch its most extensive ongoing faith-based prisoner reform effort. The organization will reach out to inmates in every state, federal, private, and juvenile corrections facility in Ohio in an effort to reduce recidivism rates.

In-Prison Operation Starting Line Launch Events—Aug. 12 - 20

Some 550 Ohio volunteers from 50 churches connect with 52,000 men, women, and youth in 42 correctional facilities during high-energy events. Featuring ex-offenders, athletes, and musicians, the Operation Starting Line launch events jump-start the ongoing program opportunities for prisoners including life-skills training, Bible studies, and mentoring—all led by local volunteers.

Ohio Special Events (See Media Opportunities for details)

  • Sat., Aug. 12, 1:00 p.m.—Wings Event for Youth at Mohican Juvenile Correctional Facility in Perrysville
  • Sat., Aug. 19, 1:00 p.m.—Break the Cycle Motorcycle Tour at Richland Correctional in Mansfield

About Operation Starting Line
Operation Starting Line, a collaboration of local volunteers and some 30 national faith-based organizations, offers ongoing program opportunities to prisoners including life-skills training, Bible studies, and mentoring. These programs are based on proven research showing that faith-based prison programs have a significant impact in reducing the number of inmates who will return to prison after their release. (For stats, see www.DeMossNewsPond.com/osl.)

MEDIA NOTE: Media access to in-prison events is subject to security clearance by corrections officials and must be done in advance of the event. To obtain clearance to adult facilities, contact the ODRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150 or for youth facilities contact Regina Lupoli at rlupoli@demossgroup.com.  To request an interview with a spokesperson or Ohio volunteer or for media materials including high-resolution photos, visit www.DeMossNewsPond.com/osl or contact Michelle Farmer (770) 813-0000/ (770) 757-4900 (cell).