Peter Macdiarmid/PA Wire

Christian prison worker welcomes £10m funding for jails

Fri 17 Aug 2018
By Cara Bentley

A Christian who reads the Bible with inmates has welcomed funds to help improve conditions and limit violence.

The prisons minister has pledged to resign if his campaign to tackle violence and drugs in struggling jails doesn't succeed.

The Conservative Rory Stewart announced £10m to go towards scanners for drugs as well as to improve facilities.

Speaking about these proposals, Gerard Chrispin from the Christian Prison Resources Ministries, who go into jails and do Bible studies, told Premier he is aware that violence goes on:

"I get to know prisoners very well and I know what's going on in the jails and I also speak to officers and sometimes you see people who 'slip down the stairs', they say - well they must be very slippery stairs at times - and I do know that drugs are a real problem for people."

"Anything that can help to reduce those [problems] must be good but you won't blitz it out by money alone - I think only the gospel can do that to people's lives."

"It's easy to criticise politicians, especially in prison, but they have a real hard job and anything they can do, in any way, to make it easier is good news. The ultimate answer is that people need to put their trust in Christ."

Speaking of the poor conditions in prisons he said: "It varies from prison to prison,

"You go round some of the older prisons, the London prisons, and obviously it does need money spending on it. But it needs a lot of money, I hope £10m is enough. It does need smartening up and cleaning up and anything that goes towards that has to be good.

When asked if he'd seen people change through the gospel within prison he said: "Oh absolutely! I had the great pleasure to speak at the wedding of a guy who was a very violent guy at one of the London prisons. who was so changed through the 'Mark time' course - which was going through Mark's gospel...that not only was he and his cell mates changed but his grandparents visiting him, who were not Christians, became Christians too, and I had the pleasure of speaking at his wedding. He's out now and doing a first rate job looking after the caretaking at a big London church.

"There are people whose lives have been changed inside out by believing that Christ died for them on the cross and by putting their trust in him".

Listen to the full interview here:

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