The vision for Cornerstone Transition Home was born through the members at Central Baptist Church in Diaz, Arkansas. Many of the members of our church have been involved in ministry positions at our women’s prison, the McPherson Unit—some in official capacities, and some as volunteers.
As we have gotten to know some of these women, we have uncovered a disturbing trend. Many inmates who are eligible for parole are foregoing the process and choosing to remain in prison. They have nowhere to go, and no source of support once they are released. They could go home, but many of them already have, only to re-offend and return to McPherson. Without major changes, home brings with it old friends, old patterns, and old lifestyles. Over 40% of the inmates released from Arkansas correctional facilities will wind up back in prison within three years. Our calling as Christians demands that we act to address this problem.
The mission of Cornerstone Transition Home is to be a bridge between life in prison and a successfully reintegrated life into communities. It’s a chance for these women to build their own lives on a firm foundation–Jesus Christ.
Cornerstone Transition Home will be licensed under Arkansas Community Correction. The women who enter the program will be screened through a careful application process. These will not be prisoners, but citizens who have served their time for the crimes they have committed, and have been granted release through the Arkansas Parole Board. These will be women who genuinely want to be productive, law-abiding citizens.
Once they enter the program, they will submit to a detailed code of conduct. In return, they will receive valuable training: how to get a job, how to be a good parent, how to manage personal finances, etc. Most importantly, they will be taught the Bible.
We believe in the transformative power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our earnest desire that women who enter Cornerstone will be firmly established in their walk with Christ and will prepared to make positive changes in their homes, families and communities.