The US incarcerates the largest percentage of people anywhere in the world. And within the Federal Prison System, inmates, to deal with boredom, are allowed to purchase MP3 players and download commercial music for a fee, a money making venture for the prison. Commercial music is the only content made available to inmates at this time. An opportunity exists to expand the reach of the gospel through the use of the BOP’s current music delivery infrastructure with free content provided by numerous religious streaming providers.
Over 70 years ago, Roger W. Babson, founder of Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, established The Open Church Foundation on the principle that everyone needs a quiet place to communicate with God. One of its objectives is to encourage daily communication with God through Bible reading and prayer. OFC has been accomplishing this mission by providing prisoners with numerous high quality tracts designed to aid Christians in facing daily problems.
One obvious advantage in allowing inmates the opportunity to hear the written word is that many also have some level of learning disability which hinders their ability and motivation to read. In addition to providing hope, in what for many can appear to be a hopeless situation, inmates gain direction, greater self-control and meaning for their life from the practice of religion while in prison, enhancing peace of mind and personal contentment.
When approached on the new initiative, George Rideout, President of The Open Church Foundation said, “This is a great idea. The Open Church Foundation distributes a lot of tracts to those incarcerated in prisons and this initiative reminds me of the need for OCF to consider the idea of making our tracts more available for the electronic age. We’re happy to help in making this initiative a reality.” The Open Church Foundation has messages that are germane to all individuals, especially prisoners who need the healing words and uplifting texts.
P.J. McMann of Liberty Quest and a former federal inmate said, “Today, the world is going paperless, and people are turning to hand-held devices. This trend is also holding true with traditional bound scripture and prayer books. Many are now finding spiritual sustenance through streaming audio and video content. As the BOP has a delivery system in place that, for little to no incremental cost, would allow inmates to easily receive and listen to a broad scope of inspirational, faith-based messages in a non-intrusive manner, let’s make it happen. Providing such streaming faith-based content would provide for light in a very dark place, as well as enhance prisoners’ minds and souls. After all, isn’t that one of the goals of our correctional facilities?”
To learn more about The Open Church Foundation, visit http://www.openchurch.org. For more information on Liberty Quest, visit http://www.Liberty-