AK DOC Today

News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections

God Behind Bars Collaborative Effort of Chaplaincy Office

God Behind Bars (GBB) is a program that began approximately three years ago in Nevada and has rapidly spread to prisons in Oklahoma, Colorado, and now in Alaska. The program consists of four parts. Part one is an HD presentation of a church service from Central Christian Church of Las Vegas NV. This church (seventh largest in USA) shares their service with over 30,000 people every week both in person, on line, and in campuses throughout the US and over 30 countries. Beginning September 28 the services are now shown at Hiland Mountain CC on Friday evenings to over 100 inmates each night. Central Christian Church has partnered with a local Anchorage church, Faith Christian Community and is sharing their services on a part time basis.

Part two of GBB is the introduction of Celebrate Recovery, a 12 step program similar to the AA 12-step program. Celebrate Recovery not only targets drug and alcohol addiction but is very successful in addressing all hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Celebrate Recovery is scheduled to begin at Hiland CC in November this year.

Part three of GBB centers around helping inmates gain job skills while still in prison to be useful in gaining employment once they are released. Partnering with existing programs will be the goal in this area since Alaska, unlike other states, already has many programs addressing this need.

Part four of GBB emphasizes the importance of helping inmates immediately upon their release. Partnering with the Alaska Prisoner Re-entry Task Force is paramount. As was true with part three, Alaska is ahead of other states and is fortunate to have this task force. GBB has already made this connection and will be bringing ideas that have worked in other states to the table.

One of the greatest attributes of this program is that it runs at no cost to the state. It is directed totally by volunteers and donations. It partners with local churches, Alaskan Correctional Ministries and other concerned individuals.