Today our focus is on rehabilitation programmes in prisons.
When Joseph was unjustly imprisoned in Ancient Egypt, the whole experience still added to his life. He was arrested as a young man who had just transitioned from pampered son to household manager; a man with two unfulfilled (and easily misinterpreted) dreams circulating in his head, plus a whole lot to learn about Egyptian culture.
Although there was no education programme, positions of trust could be earned and this brought Joseph into contact with two royal-household prisoners. Becoming a dream interpreter secured his future position in government. Would that all prison sentences proved to be such a stepping stone!
Currently a lot of work is going into prison-based programmes for rehabilitation and prevention of reoffending. We need to pray for the effectiveness of such courses, both in terms of their planning and delivery.
A change in the rate of reoffending would also indicate a change in the extent of changed lives. It is painful to be caught in a cycle of offending and we need to look for ways of seeing such cycles broken.
This is part of the gospel message of setting the prisoners free.