God Set Them Free

Transforming the lives of America's incarcerated

A small group of inmates holds prayer during their Bible study. Photo by Chris Leaman.

In the minds of many, prisons are one of the last places people go to find hope. Television news reports often show the poor living conditions, the overcrowding and general lack of humanity the incarcerated must endure every day.

In the midst of such despair, prisoners often seek the Word of God for comfort and help. Unfortunately, Bibles are a rarity in prisons. In fact, only about 1 percent of our country’s correctional facilities have the budget to purchase Scriptures or Bibles. Often, inmates do not even have access to a Bible unless its costs are personally covered by chaplains or prison volunteers.

The American Bible Society launched God Sets You Free™, a Bible and Scripture Portion distribution program for American prisoners to address this problem. With its partner American Rehabilitation Ministries — a Joplin, Mo.-based national prison outreach — ABS has helped thousands of prisoners find redemption, hope and peace in God’s Word.

The impact is truly remarkable. A sample survey of 100 inmates showed that approximately 96 had adopted more beneficial attitudes and behaviors such as speaking respectfully, forgiving others, praying and showing kindness — which they attributed to having their own Bibles.

Lataysha S., of Collier Country Jail in Naples, Fla., says, “When I first got here, I thought it was a punishment. Now I see it was God’s way of getting my attention and focus back on him and his Word…My incarceration has become a blessing to me.”

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

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