Getting Started Inside
This page is a work in progress — it offers current available resources for those interested in prison outreach; by its nature, it will never be exhaustive. If you have suggestions for things to add or would like to be involved in gathering additional resources, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Check out summary or detailed results of the 2021 Prison Outreach Survey here.
- Please pray for our efforts to send the Contemplative Outreach newsletters to prisoners; there are more challenges than one might imagine — but, with challenges come opportunities! Here is a letter that Contemplative Outreach’s Administrator, Mary Jane Yates, wrote to the prisoners on our mailing list to express regret for the delay and also to let them know of our support during these trying times
- Learn more about Prison Contemplative Fellowship (PCF) and the partnership between PCF and Contemplative Outreach here. Ray Leonardini and PCF may be contacted at email@example.com or through their website, www.uspcf.org. They are able to offer materials for free if they are going to be used by prisoners. Ray has written three books, all of which are available in the Contemplative Outreach store: Finding God Within and Going Inside and Toxic Shame and Contemplative Prayer: From Hiding to Healing.
- Book Review: Finding God Within, Contemplative Prayer for Prisoners.
- “Locked Up and Free” is a user-friendly pamphlet that is ideal for a first introduction to Centering Prayer for prisoners. You can download it here. It is especially useful when one does not have a lot of time to explain things to a prisoner. The pamphlet is free to chaplains and volunteers in prison. It can be ordered through the Contemplative Outreach store for just the cost of shipping and handling (click here for English, or here for Spanish), or you can write to request copies from Prison Contemplative Fellowship, P.O. Box 1086, Folsom, CA 95763-1086, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Here is a downloadable brochure on Lectio Divina that has been used inside prisons and been quite popular.
- These two articles were written in the mid-1990s and published in several venues at the time; they have recently resurfaced: Meditation In Folsom and Meditation After Folsom.
- All of the 15 current videos of our prison outreach are at the Prison Outreach YouTube Playlist here.
- The first three videos are from the 2021 International Conference and begin with the Prison Outreach Service Team presentation, including former prisoners discussing what Centering Prayer means to them.
- Holding Still, from Prison Contemplative Fellowship and Catholic Prison Ministries, is a riveting, candid and insightful short documentary film about practicing Centering Prayer while incarcerated at Folsom Prison. You can watch a two minute trailer here; both the documentary itself and the full premiere event (including discussion with participants, producer and director of the film) are included in the Prison Outreach YouTube Playlist.
- One wonderful fruit of the PCF partnership is a DVD called True Freedom, available for sharing inside prison facilities. It includes videos 6 to 15 of the Prison Outreach YouTube Playlist.
If you have served time, please be sure to visit the post-release page.
If you are a volunteer, be sure to check out the volunteer support page. If you are drawn to consider participating in this outreach, see the “getting started” page.
More resources and info will be added to this page as available, so please check back regularly!