Prison Fellowship celebrates growth behind bars

Approximately 150 men are enrolled in the Prison Fellowship program at Lino Lakes Correctional Facility. Tuesday, the prison held a ceremony to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the program at the correctional facility. http://kare11.tv/2gZMAX3

LINO LAKES, Minn. - Approximately 150 men are enrolled in the Prison Fellowship program at Lino Lakes Correctional Facility.

Tuesday, the prison held a ceremony to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the program at the correctional facility. 

It is the only male correctional facility in the state to offer the program. 

James Ackerman, the program’s CEO, says the only female correctional facility in the state to offer the program is at Shakopee Correctional Facility.

“There are approximately 75 women in the program," Ackerman said.

Graduates of the program call it "life-changing."

“It’s one of my goals to help these brothers unlearn to relearn," said Kelly Woods, a graduate. "To unlearn the bad behavior they have been going through, and I am living proof you can unlearn it and relearn new things and be a productive citizen.”

George Lang says the program saved him, as it addressed issues he had lived with his whole life.

“The introduction into community and what a healthy community would look like, was absolutely foreign to me,” Lang said. 

Today, Lang is the director of a nonprofit called FreedomWorks.

The Prison Fellowship program has four pillars: A religious component, a place to address issues, relationships and re-entry. 

© 2017 KARE-TV


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