Part II: How the Walker State Prison Christian mentoring works

ROCK SPRING, Georgia (WDEF) – Changing a lifestyle from being a criminal in a cell, to becoming a lay-minister outside the walls, is the goal of one of the most unusual lock-ups in the country.

News 12’s Ashley Henderson continues his two part report on a successful program going on at Walker State Prison. (Part I)

Terry Green laughed when he first heard about the special prison in Walker county where they try to change your life.

“And I heard about Walker, then you gotta sign an application to go to Walker, and I’m like, ‘An application to go to prison?!’ Haha.”

When he got here, Terry learned that the program to keep him from returning to prison was based on a book called “Fruit That Won’t Spoil”

The message in that book is pretty simple…..

Host Team member Tom Kitsmiller says “It was determined that men who were discipled, were much better dads and husbands and employers and employees, than guys who just went to church and sat in church. So that’s how it all got started.”

Kitsmiller leads groups of men through the “Fruit That Won’t Spoil” book, and many become Pauls..telling others how their lives have changed.

Those men, are called Timothys…named for Paul’s disciple.

Kitsmiller adds “We have over 40 teams that have been though Roger’s book, which means that over 200 men have been through Fruit That Won’t Spoil, and out of that – those 200 men have gotten Timothy’s down there so really – so right now over half of the population at Walker State Prison is in a “one to one “mentoring program.”

Terry Green was inspired to take his new-found dedicate to another level.

He requested to be sent back early to a “darker place”, because he felt he needed to be a light for other men.

He went to Hall Co. prison, where he asked the warden to allow him to lead other prisoners through the book.

“I asked him I said look, I come from Walker State Prison, and I want to start the Fruit That Won’t Spoil here. He said, ‘Well I don’t know about it, I ain’t never had an inmate facilitate a class here.” I said, ‘Well, it really ain’t an inmate facilitating it – God’s facilitating it – we’re just doing the paperwork.’

The proof of the unusual Walker Prison program is in the numbers.

Tom Kitsmille says “Normally 72 to 73 percent is the recidivism rate in the normal prison system. Well, down at Walker State Prison it’s less than 2 percent.”

And Terry Green concludes “I can tell you one thing, when I walked in the back door of Walker State Prison, I felt the presence of God.”

In the studio, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.

You can learn more about Walker State here.

Categories: Featured, Local News, Walker County

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