Equipping former sex offenders for a positive future is the challenging work of the latest initiative launched by a graduate of the CMS Pioneer course. Julie writes:
After much background work, AnamCara launched on Sunday 1 November with a Gift Day. We are working to provide a structured, rehabilitative, Christian community for men with former sexual convictions, in which they can experience the love of God and be equipped for non-offending, good life in the locality.
People often ask why we work with this group of people. We do it simply because God has told us to; there is no one more unloved and marginalised. God loves all his children. Jesus said, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting outsiders, not insiders – an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out” (Luke 5:31, The Message).
The prison population in UK on 23 Oct 2020 was 79,164 (at the beginning of 1993 the figure was only 41,600). 60 per cent of all those leaving prison will reoffend within a year of release. In fact this is only around 11% for people with former sexual convictions, but even one is too many.
On average, it costs £36,237 to keep one person in prison for one year. Reoffending by those recently released from custody costs the UK economy between £9.5bn and £13bn a year – this is more than is spent on mental health services. Reoffending results in more victims and more pain.
Research shows that ‘The factors identified by the criminological literature for desistance from general criminal offending may also be relevant to sexual offending.’* These include ageing, stable employment, stable relationship, sobriety, lack of stress, good mental health. AnamCara seeks to provide in these areas.
AnamCara’s trustees invited supporters to join them on Sunday via a series of online reflections, interviews, and presentations, enabling them to prayerfully consider gifting their time, skills or finances to bring this vital project to fruition.
Contact CMS Pioneer, Julie, for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Richard Laws, Tony Ward (2011) ‘Desistance from Sex Offending: Alternatives to Throwing Away the Keys’