CAÑON CITY, CO – New Horizons Ministries is a multi-faceted prison outreach in Caňon City, Colorado. And if there was ever a place where a full-blown prison ministry was needed, it is Caňon City.
The Caňon City is the county seat of Fremont County, which is home to the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility, the Arrowhead Correctional Center, the Centennial Correctional Center, the Fremont Correctional Center, the Four Mile Correctional Center, the Skyline Correctional Center, and the Colorado State Penitentiary. Prior to 2010, the area was also home to the Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility. The “Super Max” United States Penitentiary is only eight miles directly southeast of Caňon City.
Sharing the Gospel
All of those institutions are located within a three-square-mile area at the eastern edge of Caňon City, except the Women’s Correctional Facility which is now a two-hour drive away near Denver. Nonetheless, New Horizons continues its ministry to the women’s facility. Husband and wife teams of Spiritual Supervisors travel to Denver where they teach Bible studies and practical lessons for a better life both inside and outside of incarceration.
New Horizons trained and certified chaplains work in the local prisons, leading weekly church services, Bible studies, seminars, and other special programs designed for build relationships of trust and transparent conversation.
Seeing the Cycle
Incarceration is an illustration of the hypothesis that we can be shaped by our environment. If that environment continually reminds us of our past mistakes and labels prisoners as losers, the odds are that many inmates and their families may find themselves in “the destructive cycle of incarceration.”
“In the State of Colorado, nearly 50% of all offenders released from prison will return within three years.”
What is more, the cycle of incarceration is not limited to the individuals imprisoned.
Did you realize that children with a parent or both parents in jail, are likely to become a victim of generational incarceration?
New Horizons Ministries provides a full array of services that help break both the individual and generational cycles of incarceration. These are the programs where prisoners, former prisoners, and their families benefit the most.
Stopping the Cycle
New Horizons accomplishes its mission to “provide Christ-centered nurture for children and families in need and share the love of Christ to incarcerated youth and adults” through several programs that are coordinated with the chaplaincy services.
- Child placement and care
We tend to forget that some women in prison are expectant mothers. Once they give birth, their child is taken from them. New Horizons helps these moms care for their children through private placements and foster family opportunities with Christian families.
- Mom Care
The Spiritual Life Supervisors offer classes in parenting while in prison and post-release. Each child under their umbrella is brought to a visiting room set aside as a place where they and their parent can bond. Following release, New Horizons helps the parent to get healthily re-established.
They accomplish this through the extension of the services already provided as well as providing homes is the safe environment of Oasis mobile home park where staff members also reside.
New Horizons operates thrift stores where mothers are offered the opportunity to work following their release from the penal institutions. The goal of each outlet is to be the best thrift store experience imaginable.
- Day Care
The Day Care program is one of the latest additions to New Horizons Ministries. It will eventually provide a Christ-centered program under the direction of trained and experienced staff for as many as 40 children.
- Christian Community
Families are invited to attend the Skyline Mennonite Church where most of the New Horizon’s staff are members. Here, they experience the love, caring, and warmth of Jesus Christ through a community of believers who invest themselves in the lives of the former inmates.
Incarceration, by its very nature, includes an element of despair. That despair can lead to hopelessness, not only about the present but also about the future. By introducing inmates to Jesus and guiding them to a personal relationship with Him, New Horizons leads them to our sure and certain hope. True to their name, they continue to work with inmates post-release to realize that they are no longer prisoners, but that they really do have new horizons.
Source: New Horizons Ministries, Official Website