NewGround Alliance Church is one of several church that minister at the Juvenile Correction Center in Lewiston, Idaho. Each church week a different group provides religious services at the facility. Our group is made up of volunteers from both NewGround Alliance and CrossPoint Alliance. Volunteers can be male of female above 18 years old. The facility has an all male population between the ages of 13 to 18 years old. Many of the young men are there because of drug issues but there are exceptions.
3 Oak Ministries from Boise handles all the facility training of religious volunteers, scheduling, and paperwork. 3 Oaks is currently contacted by Idaho to manage religious services at all adult and juveniles facilities in the state.
There are five aspects of the ministry at JCC:
- Sunday Services
- Clergy Visits
- Reintegration Luncheons
- Needs Letters
The Sunday service lasts from 2:30-4:30pm (we currently have the first Sunday of every month). We provide worship, teaching, and a discussion/sharing time. Our purpose is to share Jesus Christ with the young men. We do this by providing a positive role model and by bringing a positive message to them on a consistent basis. Few of the incarcerated young men come from a christian background so it is very much an evangelistic outreach. They come to the services on a voluntary basis so numbers can vary from 4 to the mid 20's. The facility can hold 36 but is usually in the high 20's. Sunday Services are the main religious ministry at the facility.
Clergy visits are not limited to clergy. It is a one on one time with a boy or small group of boys that is requested by them generally with a particular volunteer. Visits can be a one time event or recurring, depending what the boy(s) have asked for. Clergy visits are an opportunity for more in depth Bible study or to answer questions not suitable for discussion on a Sunday morning. Clergy visits are 30 minute to 1 hour sessions and available on Wednesday afternoons and early Sunday afternoon.
You are not required to do clergy visits. Women are not allowed to do clergy visits unless accompanied by a male volunteer.
When a young man is nearing the end of his stay at the facility some of the staff and volunteers take the boy as a group out to lunch. This is a informal time to interact with the young man as well as the staff.
This is an optional volunteer activity. We generally try to attend the luncheons of the young men we know.
When a young man is nearing the end of his stay at the facility they submit a needs letter to the FRD. By the time the young men leave the facility most have out grown their outside clothing and also are in need of toiletries and other necessities. If their family is unable to provide these items, volunteers can step in to help provide there items.