Food For The Poor Organizes Prisoner Releases

Nonviolent offenders in Jamaica, Guyana, Haiti and Honduras are set free

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (December 11, 2008) – For the eighth consecutive Christmas season, Food For The Poor has enabled groups of prisoners in four countries to begin new, honorable lives. Prisoners in Jamaica, Guyana, Haiti and Honduras who committed nonviolent offenses, but were incarcerated due to their inability to pay the required fines, will be released in time to spend Christmas with their families.

Since the inception of Food For The Poor’s Prison Ministry Program in 2000, Food For The Poor has assisted in freeing, training and reintroducing approximately 800 persons into the community as productive citizens. The prisoners who were released were incarcerated for nonviolent crimes, such as stealing food. Food For The Poor works with the prisoners before and after they are released to ensure they will not be repeat offenders.

“The world food crisis in Third World countries was brought to the attention of the American media in April 2008,”said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor’s executive director. “As food shortages worsened and malnutrition in children became more rampant – desperate parents have acted in the moment to provide for their families.”

In Jamaica, one of the prisoners to be released this Dec. was convicted of stealing a goat for his family to eat. The man was going to be imprisoned for six months because he could not pay the fine.

Prison authorities have found Food For The Poor’s Prison Ministry Program to be so successful that they have implemented a similar program. Some prisons now offer inmates jobs in the prison where they are held in order to earn money to pay off their fines.

“The Prison Ministry Program has an incredible success rate,” said Sandra Ramsey, Food For The Poor’s Jamaica Prison Ministry Program manager. “The released inmates are given a remarkable opportunity to start their lives over with dignity. We provide them with the necessary tools and training to start a fruitful business venture so they will not be repeat offenders.”

The Prison Ministry Program releases inmates who have committed minor offenses, twice per year – during the Easter and Christmas seasons.

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. We provide emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Contact:
Jennifer Leigh Oates
Public Relations Coordinator
(954) 427-2222 x 6054
jennifero@foodforthepoor.org