Do not be deceived:
"Bad company ruins good morals."
Paul of Tarsus, 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NRSV)
Carver Transitional Center located at 400 S. May Avenue in Oklahoma City is a halfway house run by Avalon Correctional Services, Inc. On Monday, the Oklahoma State Corrections Department surprised them with a random drug test for 153 of the residents. Over half (78) tested positive for illegal drugs.
Frankly, I'm surprised it was not higher.
The fact is that most criminal charges have roots in substance abuse. When someone who is incarcerated is released from prison, there is a strong pull toward the circles that led to imprisonment in the first place.
The court costs alone that need to be repaid after exiting prison are overwhelming to those newly released.
Many of these men and women did not have strong support before they entered jail. I don't imagine that people are lining up to help them afterwards.
The pressures often lead to more substance abuse as an escape.
Our support of ex-offenders through the Exodus House is a way that we are making a difference in people's lives. As I have toured this facility many times as well as attended Redemption Church, I am proud of the transformation in Christ that we can accomplish through our church's ministries.
As we see God at work through people that were once walking down the wrong path, it might be a good idea for us to look at our own path. Are there behaviors that could lead us into chaos?
Let us pray:
God of love, whose compassion never fails; we bring before you the troubles and perils of people and nations, the sighing of prisoners and captives, the sorrows of the bereaved, the necessities of strangers, the helplessness of the weak, the despondency of the weary, the failing powers of the aged. O Lord, draw near to each; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer by Anselm of Canterbury, 1033-1109