Donating Used Coats for People Being Released From Jail

From now until January 16 we are collecting used coats for people being released from the Dane County Jail. Please bring your used coats to church any time before January 16, and we will deliver them as part of our Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebration. There will be collection boxes in the Sanctuary and in the parking lot entrance. Here is why:
Leigh Vierstra grew up in this church and is now a teacher at East High School. One day a girl told Leigh that her dad was in "jail." When I talked to Leigh, it turned out that her dad was actually in prison. Although the terms are used almost interchangeably, one thing that we have learned over the past ten years of The Prison Ministry is the vast difference between jail and prison. Jails are county institutions run by the elected Sheriff of each county. In Madison, the jail is funded by Dane County and under the control of Sheriff Dave Mahoney. Prisons are state institutions under the control of the Governor through the Department of Corrections.
While both are places of confinement, they operate under very different rules and for very different purposes. Jails are short term facilities intended to hold people awaiting trial or serving sentences of less than a year. Prisons are long term facilities where people can be held for decades.
These institutional differences create for us very different opportunities to try to help people who are behind both kinds of bars. At Thanksgiving, we collected more than 400 brand new T-shirts for the Release Closet at the prison at Fox Lake. The rules of the prison required that any clothing donations must be new. Now we have an opportunity to donate used coats to the Dane County jail.
Many thanks.
~Jerry Hancock

Posted on January 3, 2017 at 1:03 pm in Featured Content.

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