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Prison Fellowship is making a difference Rotarians told

For more than 20 years, the Bermuda Prison Fellowship has worked to used religion to help inmates and their families get back on the right track.

Speaking yesterday at the Hamilton Rotary, Rudolph (Buddy) Hollis said that over the years the organisation has made a difference for many prisoners, helping them move beyond past mistakes.

“By visiting the prisoners, sometimes we can get right down inside the mess to find out what is going on,” Mr Hollis said, wearing an orange prison suit over his shirt and tie.

“At the end of the day, any one of us could be a prisoner in the right circumstances and with the wrong decisions.”

The Bermuda Prisoner Fellowship is just one of more than 100 branches of Prison Fellowship International, dedicated to using Christianity to aid prisoners, ex-prisoners, their families and victims.

Volunteers with the organisation make frequent and regular visits to the Island’s correctional facilities in hopes of building a bond with inmates, while also holding events to support their family’s, donating Christmas presents and back-to-school supplies.

“These are the people we tend to forget about, regardless of the actions of their parents, it’s the children that are left behind and it’s the parents who struggle,” he said.

Without naming the inmates, Mr Hollis related several success stories from the programme, including a man convicted of importing drugs who turned his life around to become a bible studies teacher, and a former addict who was motivated to give up his addiction.

Asked about the level of education among inmates, Mr Hollis said that many of the prisoners seem intelligent, but impatience seemed to be a common issue.

“I think with a lot of the prisoners we deal with there is the issue of impatience, and they have time on their hands,” he said.

“A lot of people don’t want to wait ten years to get a mortgage or save to get things. They want to do the short cut.”

Rudolph Hollis of the Prison Fellowship Group speaks the Hamilton Rotary Club Guest Speaker Tuesday at Royal Amature Dingy Club ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )

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Published March 28, 2012 at 9:52 am (Updated March 28, 2012 at 9:51 am)

Prison Fellowship is making a difference Rotarians told

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