As a volunteer leading a Bible study in the men's unit at Elmwood, I see how bad choices have damaged the lives of these men and their family members. It is gratifying to see some of them turn to God for direction in their lives and to seek a church affiliation on their release, to help them keep on the right track as they return to society. They show promise of becoming responsible contributors to society and to their families.
CIC and its chaplains coordinate the work of some 400 volunteers in SC County jail facilities, showing care and concern for these men, women, and youth. Most of them show sincere appreciation for our encouragement and moral support. CIC does an important job!
CIC chaplains and volunteers do great work in helping jail inmates deal with their problems, learn to serve God, and return to productive and law-abiding lives when they are released. The Department of Corrections show that they see the value of this by contracting with CIC to coordinate chaplaincy activities of all faiths in the jails, but the DOC funding represents only a fraction of the expense of the salary, benefits and expenses of the chaplaincy team. They need our financial support from individuals and churches to continue this good work, and I encourge generous support.
I work at the jails and see the positive impact CIC has on the lives of the inmates. The recent art projects that are on display at the County Building at 70 West Hedding Street are a physical example of the way CIC ministers to the hearts of the inmates, helping them understand love, grace and faith.
While in Elmwood womans Correctional Facility an Asian decent Correctional Officer from the Sherrif's Department illegally but a stabbing tool in my eyes , still happening right now, God is stabbing my eyes with paper clips, literaly causing redness. sound unbelievable, he got fired and I need help. It is a God muniotonously stabbing my eyes with a tool, jealously, severely, and leaving me in pain all day long. Iv'e seen private opthemoligists and gone to Govia Zeller and Literal House momentum for mental health for a month each time approxamiatly. This Asian gangbang from a supposed CORRECTIONAL OFFICER IS a civil rights crime and is Cruel and UNUSUAL punishment. Can you help me so I don't go blind? Please ask God the lord to heal my eyes from illegal chant. My spiritual books say to not hold this inside, as the emotional damage is scaring me and the strength day and night to solve this hate crime is to much. Thank you for you kindness Chaplain, as I complained many times and the Correctional Officer isn't with them anymore, as I say this Mr.Nyuen is stabbing my left eye even harder. Yikes, that;s my 5th Amendment righjts violated and he makes me speak the blunt truth , on his God, I would imagine. fro my young 33 years old. I am also a model, from Vogue Magazine, so he's very envious cultural. Be prepared to me every type of human at your Demigods next job. I will never accept this treatment, mutilation is out of style. humanity is a forbidden chant for a county employee. Unethical guy. And harbors racism, Anti-hate campaign from United colors of Benneton preferable for diplomatic relations, without stupid little kid eye tools from some Gods. Hundreds of them I've seen for over a year.
Review from Guidestar
When somebody is suspected of a crime, society's traditional solution is to toss the miscreant in jail, where he is expected to "learn his lesson." As far as lessons learned, jail works about 15 percent of the time. In other words, 85 percent of the inmates in the county lockup where either incarcerated before or they will be again.
Jail does not address the troubling issues in an inmate's life. Maybe there is violence or neglect in the home, maybe there is substance or personal abuse, maybe there is gang involvement or chronic unemployment. These and other challenges obscure and misdirect the way an individual views himself and his options.
Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy (CIC), just like her sister organizations in hundreds of other communities, brings the inmates a new way to see themselves and a new direction for their lives. Through non-denominational church services, Bible studies, and one-on-one visits, inmates acquire the motivation and confidence to face their challenges and the courage to make the right choices.
In addition, CIC works with local faith communities to provide for inmates when they are released, with clothing, a safe place to sleep, a decent meal, help getting a job, and help finding a new group of friends with higher standards and open hearts.
I have had the pleasure of serving on the board and volunteering for CIC and it has been one of the most fulfilling areas that I have served in ever. During this time of so many cutbacks it is so important for us to step up to the plate and give in an area that touches each person in California.
Review from Guidestar
I have served CIC as both a Board Member and as a volunteer. They offer an affirming ministry of God's love for all God's children. This is a new concept for many of the folks who are incarcerated. I have watched this message change lives as I listen to the stories of the men in chapel, the women in Bible Study and the youth in classes. Not only does this change the lives of the folks inside, but it has changed mine. After working as a volunteer with the chaplains, I have chosen that work as my life work and completed seminary with that goal in mind.
I had the opportunity to go on rounds with one of the CIC Chaplains, and the following are some of my thoughts.'I was moved by the neediness of the inmates. One needed just a ‘moment’ of time, another, just a touch, another, a prayer, another one-one- counseling, and others, just to be seen or heard. I was moved by your ability to discern the needs of each. I thought that I was pretty good at time management, and multi-tasking, and I see that you couldn’t survive without those skills. Being compassionate, and spiritual, are absolute requirements. However, one would become overwhelmed without some practical skills. In just one night, I have a much better appreciation for ‘some’ of the activities performed by a full time CIC Chaplain'.
I have ministered with CIC for almost 20 years. This work has involved me engaging in one on one ministry, teaching bible study and leading worship services at the S.J. Downtown Jail, Elmwood Jail, Juvenile Hall, James Ranch & the Muriel Wright Center. The opportunity to impact the lives of brothers and sisters who have encountered struggles has been extremely enriching and rewarding. I've found the CIC staff to be loving, caring and dedicated. I would recommend this ministry to any Christian who desires to act on the words of Jesus found in Matthew 25: 34-40.
I have been volunteering with CIC for 3 and a half years. I volunteer leading a bible study in a unit for violent youth offenders each Tuesday night. The guys who come have made some very bad choices and are open to turning their life around. I recently joined the board of directors. The staff of CIC is very hard working and care greatly for those they are serving.
CIC not only provides vital services to all people that find themselves in the correctional system in Santa Clara County, it also gives those of us that volunteer the unique opportunity to live out the mandate from Matthew 35:36 “I was in prison and you visited me.” My Christian life and walk with Christ was changed forever after my first visit in the system. Bruce Friesen Board Chair and volunteer Chaplain
I've been a volunteer with CIC for a year and a half now, and it's been a very positive experience. I coordinate men from our church as we go in as a team of six to eight and lead groups of inmates in worship, Bible study, and prayer each week. CIC has coordinated our entry and educated each volunteer for various aspects of the ministry, with particular attention to safety. Their twice-yearly training programs usually seem full to capacity and they are filled with compelling testimony as well as important practical info for volunteers. Our contact with Executive Director Rev. David Robinson has always enhanced our understanding and our enjoyment of the ministry. Meeting Dave, one immediately senses his passion and his expertise. He has personally come to our church and spoken about the mission and practice of CIC, and has visited our volunteer support group with a brief but encouraging and informative program. He is always available by phone or by email, and has responded to every one of my questions or needs as a volunteer. CIC gets my five star rating because they sit in an incredibly complex spot, between churches of all stripes and theologies, and the prison system -- not an easy place to be charged with the coordination and security of myriad volunteer programs. From this challenging space they seem to effectively and even lovingly pull off a huge ministry, I believe not only to inmates, but to churches and to volunteers.
I rate Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy [CIC] 5 stars. My wife and I have been volunteers with CIC of Santa Clara County for about 20 years. In fact we first met each other at a volunteer organizing meeting [and married a year later]. We are not clergy, rather ‘lay’ people who attend church as congregants. Prior to CIC our only experience with jails was the literacy program my wife participated in at San Quentin. After introductory meetings, screening and receiving final approval we participated in training sessions conducted by CIC professional staff Chaplains. Our first times going in to do Bible studies we were a bit nervous but we were paired with a couple who had extensive experience in the jails. This couple became our mentors and we have remained friends ever since. We currently do weekly Bible studies in the men and women’s jail facilities. CIC Ministries gives us the opportunity to step out of our Church comfort zone and bring the “Good News” to men and women stuck in jail.
CIC is really making a difference in the lives of the men, women and youth they serve. There are many challenges to effective ministry to the incarcerated and CIC rises to and overcomes them time and again. The program is God-led, God-centered and God-inspired to meet these individuals wherever they're at, whatever they're facing without judgment. This ministry is as much a blessing to those who serve as it is to those it serves.