Why it’s important for you to meet with us Friday night!

I realize that Friday nights are crowded…sporting events, happy hour meetings, cocktail parties, dinner parties, and a variety of other ways to celebrate TGIF. But just this once, it’s important that you take a break from that routine. 

The 27th marks the very first time that a powerful documentary labeled BEHIND OUR WALLS will be shown in Ottawa County. This award-winning film, produced by Nate Roels of Grand Rapids, conveys an important message about incarceration.  It'll be shown at Central Park Place in Grand Haven...the program begins at 7 PM.

In 2015 Calvin College (now Calvin University) and Calvin Theological Seminary teamed up to prepare a classroom experience for a handful of prisoners at one of our state prisons in Ionia. I’ve been in that facility. The prison system has given Calvin Prison Initiative a classroom and a library in the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility. The class size is only 20 per year, but you should know that these people participate in legitimate, certified, college credit courses. When these students graduate, they have a real college degree. 

Radio listeners in Grand Haven had an opportunity to hear a first-hand report about the program this week. Mark Hartman, our new Executive Director, was not only formerly incarcerated, but he was proud to be in the first graduating class of CPI. 

I was explaining to someone the other day how wrong I was, in an earlier life, with my views toward cops, prosecutors and prisoners. I thought police officers and prosecuting attorneys were always right, and that prisoners were always bad. 

BEHIND OUR WALLS won’t deal much with the wrongly convicted, those persons overly-charged, or those persons with unfair and extreme sentences. But here’s what you’ll learn. These people living in cages are really not that different than the people living in your home. They laugh, they cry, they love, they enjoy a few positive experiences. The big difference, though, is that they are alone. They are separated from family. They struggle with loneliness. They struggle with depression. They not only face a multitude of unique problems and emotions, but must also face the reality that very few people really care. 

That’s where you come in. 

We need you to hear this story, because we need you to join our small band of people who care. 

Our goal at HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS is to relay this message to everyone behind bars: “You matter.”

Our goal, in presenting the Friday program at Central Park Place, is to add YOUR voice to that message.


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