The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. At year-end 2009, it was 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2011 – about 0.7% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,814,200 adults at year-end 2011 were on probation or on parole. In total, 6,977,700 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2011 – about 2.9% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Another report by the Pew Center on the States found that slightly more than four in 10 offenders return to prison within three years, a collective rate that has remained largely unchanged in years, despite huge increases in prison spending. It should be evident that the U.S. penal system is broken.
At Lighthouse Ministries, we recognize that the only hope for the inmates in this broken system is the gospel. We know that the only true “rehabilitation” comes through Jesus Christ. This is the reason for our ministry. God has led us to present the gospel to those behind bars. We do this by visiting jails and prisons where we are allowed to preach to the inmates. We also have a large correspondence ministry that reaches into prisons we cannot visit. Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35). This field is truly “white already to harvest.” Pray for Lighthouse Ministries as we labor in this huge field.