Kairos Frequently Asked Questions
What is Kairos Prison Ministry International? Kairos is a Christian, volunteer, lay-led, ecumenical, international prison ministry, in which men and women volunteers bring Christ’s love and forgiveness to incarcerated individuals and to their families. Kairos consists of three programs: the Men’s Inside and Women’s Inside Ministries began in 1976, Kairos Outside began in 1991 and Kairos Torch began in 1997.
What is the history of Kairos Prison Ministry? Our History
What does Kairos Prison Ministry do inside prisons? Kairos Inside addresses the spiritual needs of prisoners. Kairos volunteers go into prisons in teams of 30 to 40 to pray, share the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, share meals and fellowship with the incarcerated on a one-to-one basis. The first visit is a three-day event, during which time the team teaches a short introductory course on Christianity. Subsequent visits are monthly half-day reunions with the prisoners over a twelve-month period.
Does Kairos Prison Ministry Operate outside prisons? Kairos Outside provides spiritual healing to families of the incarcerated, who often feel that they too are “doing time”. Spouses, parents and other relatives of prisoners meet with teams of Kairos volunteers to share their faith and gain strength from Christian community.
How else does Kairos minister to incarcerated youth? Kairos Torch provides a ministry to youthful offenders, the most rapidly growing segment of the prison system. Because young people between the ages of 13 and 19 are generally housed in smaller institutions than adult offenders, smaller-sized teams participate in this ministry. Kairos Torch also provides mentoring for six months to one year after the initial Kairos Weekend.
How does Kairos Prison Ministry impact those incarcerated or affected by incarceration? Kairos Prison Ministry affects our communities in many positive ways. Lives have been changed and former inmates return to our communities as more responsible and less violent citizens. Former inmates become better spouses, parents, employees or volunteers and give back to society. Tax payers benefit!
How committed are our Kairos volunteers? In 2014, Kairos volunteers donated over 3 million volunteer hours to the various departments of corrections here and abroad. If you multiply 3 million times the minimum wage in the USA of $7.25 per hour, our ministry donated over $22 million in volunteer time. Volunteers paid an additional $2 million for supplies, bringing the total donation to $24 million.
How many weekend events does Kairos conduct? In 2014 we held 629 Weekend programs in 309 ministry sites: 504 Kairos Weekends, 102 Kairos Outside Weekends and 23 Torch Weekends. The remaining volunteer time was spent in pre-Weekend and post-Weekend trainings and activities.
How does Kairos Prison Ministry affect the lives of volunteers? The program also has a very favorable effect upon volunteers. Many volunteers acknowledge that the team training, with its emphasis on introspection, honesty, sharing and community, enhances their spirituality. Kairos Prison Ministry serves our communities and reduces the number of victims by changing inmate lives. Mary of the inmates who participate in the entire Kairos program return to our communities as better and less violent citizens, thereby making our neighborhoods safer.
What do Corrections staff members think of Kairos Prison Ministry? Kairos programs have gained the respect of the correctional system too. In a study of 505 inmates released from Florida prisons, the recidivism rate was 15.7% among those who had participated in one Kairos session, and 10% among those who had participated in two or more Kairos sessions. The non-Kairos control group in the study had a recidivism rate of 23.4%.
Does Kairos Prison Ministry save money for taxpayers? The savings to the taxpayer are substantial. As one former prisoner put it: “It cost the government about $1,000,000 to try me and to imprison me for several years, but a $100 program keeps me out”.
What other online resources are available to tell me more about Kairos Prison Ministry?
http://www.mykairos.org – This is the website for resources and information for current volunteers and leaders already involved in the ministry and includes publications, downloads, and many of the resources that volunteers need in this ministry.
State Chapter Committee/Area Committee/Advisory Council Websites – The technology continues to get easier and the costs continue to go down. Bring it up at your next State Chapter meeting or your next Advisory Council meeting. You might be surprised to find someone in your community willing to setup a very high quality site and the costs would be limited to the domain name and the annual hosting fee.
Does Kairos offer a teleconference capability for volunteers to conduct Kairos business? Kairos already has the capability to offer teleconferencing. All you need to do is call or e-mail Kimberly Bloom (email@example.com or 407-629-4948) at the Kairos office and request the teleconference. She will set it up and send the teleconference chairperson the dial-in information.
How can I change the way the newsletter is delivered? To have the Newsletter delivered via e-mail or a link to the website version, just go to the www.mykairos.org, click on Newsroom in the left hand column, then click on God’s Special Time, for the current as well as past newsletters.
Does KPMI provide Official Logos, DVDs and Professional Brochures? Yes, Kairos provides this material for us to print and use to pass out or to setup at ministerial booths, for presentations – Use the Supply Ordering Form or the Shopping Cart on the mykairos.org website Supply Ordering and you can order DVDs and brochures. The materials are free, but they would appreciate a donation to cover shipping and printing costs. The official Kairos logos can be obtained for your use on websites and letterhead. Got to Website Admin Downloads or in the Kairos Style Guide..
Can EZRA be used by other Advisory Council positions? There is no reason that every elected person on an Advisory Council cannot have a copy of EZRA. According to the latest license agreement, we are not limited by how many copies of EZRA that an Advisory Council can make, but that a single copy of EZRA can only be used for one Weekend. Make copies of the CD for everybody and then send them a BACKUP of the most current data. Then any Advisory Council leaders who need the database of their community have it. You can contact Mike Springer (firstname.lastname@example.org ) if you have any questions about EZRA and the license agreement or search the EZRA Knowledge Base.
Most documents on the website are PDF files. Why? How do I create PDF files? Download a short tutorial on Creating PDF Files.