Rock on the Rock: ApologetiX at Alcatraz
Mon., Jul. 3. 2006 1:10pm EDT
Karl Messner, lead guitarist/producer for ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) here.
No, we're not really playing at Alcatraz. We have been asked to minister to the inmates of a women's prison on August 6th. For security reasons, we're not allowed to disclose the location, so let's just call it Alcatraz.
ApologetiX is donating our time and resources and are covering all of our own expenses incurred to get there and perform for the women there. But you can help.
We are very dedicated to prison ministry. Our CDs are used often in prisons around the world and we have ministered one other time at a prison–in September of 2003, we performed for the men at Marion Correctional Institute.
After the concert in August, we will be released to disclose the location of the women's prison, and we will give you a full report of what God is doing there. The chaplain of the prison tells us that it's the most holy ground that they've ever been associated with in ministry and they are excited to have us come to the prison.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Well you can't come, although we wish you could. You've never SEEN an enthusiastic crowd until you've served in prison ministry. They are very appreciative of our making time in our schedule and it brings a moment of hope to a desperate life.
A while back, we were invited to play a secular festival in California. They had no budget to help offset our costs and again we had to fly ourselves there. We put the word out to our energetic, ministry-minded fan club and invited them to purchase a handful of "donor tickets" to the event to help us raise money for the travel. Those tickets were purchased by folks all over the world and that concert still ranks as the number-three concert for ticket sales of all time for ApologetiX.
We're going to invite our fans again, to support our efforts in Prison Ministry. If this goes well, we'll be open to going to more prisons. What a great ministry tool for prisons: If God can change the soul of a song, he can change the heart of a man–or a woman.
Please dig deep, buy some donor tickets to this show and help us reach these women. In other countries, women are incarcerated for such crimes as "second marriage" and "running away" ( http://www.ipak.org/w-prison/photo/source/1.html ). Although not as barbaric, our prisons are far from perfect, but we still need to reach these women and help them get to a point in their life where they won't need to come back to this place. And we need to act now, while we're still even allowed to minister in prisons.
According to Prison Fellowship, on June 2, 2006, a federal district court judge ruled that the innovative and effective InnerChange Freedom Initiative program in Iowa is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of church and state. Prison Fellowship and IFI will appeal the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Women in Prison: By the Numbers:
- The female prisoner population has more than doubled since 1990 from 44,065 to 94,336 in 2001 (BJS, 2002).
- In 2000, 22% of arrests were of women. (BJS, 2000)
- Because there are fewer women in prison, there are fewer women's prisons. Consequently, women are more likely to be farther away from their homes.
- Only about half the states in the U.S. had separate prison facilities for women in the mid-1970's. In 1995, the U.S operates 104 female correctional institutions, an increase of 46.5% since 1990. Despite the increase, women are often incarcerated in facilities far from their homes (Chesney-Lind, 1998).
- Over 60% of children live over 100 miles from their mother's prison (Bloom & Steinhart, 1993).
Distance from the prison accounted for over 43% of the reasons cited by mothers for infrequent or absent visitation with their children (Bloom & Steinhart, 1993).
- Incarcerated women are twice as likely as women in the general population to have grown up in a single parent household.
- About 70% of women in local jails, 65% of women in state prisons, and 59% of women in federal prisons have young children (BJS, 2000).
- In 1997, 5% of women entered prison pregnant (BJS, 2000).
OK, here's your chance to help. Please buy some donor tickets to help us minister to the (some lifelong) inmates at the undisclosed state prison. Thanks so much for your help!