Call it the elephant in the room– except the room is made of concrete and cinderblock, and the elephant’s rocking an orange jumpsuit. It’s the state of Texas’ criminal justice system. According to Chad Chambers, Executive Director of C.H.A.R.M., “Every year, taxpayers spend $21,000 per inmate. With more than 150,000 people currently in Texas prisons, that cost becomes astronomical to taxpayers. The added statistic that more than two-thirds of released prisoners will commit crimes again is astounding. The criminal justice system attempts to reform inmates through education and job training, yet that attempt has proven to be woefully ineffective,”
He then adds, “90% of those repeat offenders will return to crime in their first 12 months of freedom.”
That statistic is called the recidivism rate—in other words, the frequency with which offenders return to incarceration. Chambers isn’t satisfied with this 90% story.
C.H.A.R.M., which stands for Christ’s Hope and Reconciliation Ministry, believes that true transformation requires renewed minds and changed hearts. According to Chambers, 90% of all inmates who experience a spiritual transformation and find similarly-minded community stay out of prison. “This is the 90% statistic we want to strive toward,” exclaims Chambers.
C.H.A.R.M. was founded by David and Kaye Trickett with the vision to lead incarcerated men and women and their families to true freedom. C.H.A.R.M. looks beyond the criminal and sees a person made for a greater purpose – someone’s father, son, brother, cousin; someone’s sister, daughter, mom or mom-to-be. They introduce them to spiritually-derived concepts of hope and reconciliation, believing offenders’ lives can be transformed as they’re shown true love.
Each year, C.H.A.R.M. facilitates community and ministry engagements for thousands of inmates. Building on foundational one-on-one relationships, they utilize approaches that begin while offenders are in prison and continue through a successful transition back into society.
C.H.A.R.M. is a faith-based organization facilitating reconciliation, transformation and hope to those that society has deemed hopeless. Learn more about this Impact Organization from their site: www.charmprisonministry.org.
How can Serve Houston volunteers help C.H.A.R.M.? Their list of skilled needs includes website design, social media help, administrative tasks (filing, spreadsheets, data entry, etc.), marketing material development, fundraising and more! C.H.A.R.M. is our Spotlight Organization for June, and we encourage you to join them and change the 90%!