the sozo project
Christian support for women leaving prison




 
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the sozo project: Christian support for women leaving prison

the sozo project Christian support for women leaving prison
The Sozo Women's Resettlement Project - Registered Charity number 1139181
About Us
Formed in 2008, the national Christian network of volunteers is growing towards our objective of at least 125 geographical centres to serve women released from UK prisons who wish to re-shape their lives, and to reflect and personify God’s forgiveness in the community. A number of Christian Prayer Centres are also being established around the country to support the network. The New Testament Greek word “sozo” is translated as “healing”, “forgiveness” and “salvation”.

As Christians we believe that people can change. Women who are truly sorry for their offences and have received God’s forgiveness through the work of the prison chaplaincy have a strong foundation on which to re-build their lives on return to the community. The healing process, begun in prison, can be continued in society after release by suitable spiritual and pastoral support mechanisms.
   
 


W
e work with prison chaplaincy teams primarily and with other departments within the prison service to identify women who feel they need support in the locality to which they are returned at the end of their sentence.

 

J
esus supported restorative justice as indicated many times in the New Testament. For example, John 8: 1-11. Here, Jesus recognises the vulnerability of the woman, refuses to condemn her, leads others not to judge or condemn her, heals and forgives her, warns her against re-offending and returns her to the community.

 
 
Similarly, in the story of Jesus’s encounter with the Samaritan woman (John 4: 4-42), Jesus again recognises her vulnerability, that she is shunned by her community, and seeks to rehabilitate her, build her self-esteem and re-shape her life. Jesus returned “offenders” to their communities after forgiveness and healing. If the prison chaplaincy does this too, then chaplains also have the right to expect Christians outside the prison gates to carry on this work in the community. This is part of the foundation of The Sozo Women's Resettlement Project.
 
  Women are particularly vulnerable when leaving prison, are generally disoriented and disempowered in a society from which they have been estranged. Some suffer from low self-esteem and a fear of what they may encounter when they leave prison, including hostility and pressures to re-offend. Others may have children in care or individual family problems to cope with. Each woman is, of course, unique. The Christian support network is there for them where they are released, to listen, encourage, support, and to build confidence, fellowship, trust and spiritual growth.

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the sozo women's resettlement project © 2012 - Registered Charity number 1139181 - Christian support for women leaving prison.

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