GRAFTON, Ohio — The man at the front of the room in the prison here is talking about the institution’s culinary and hospitality training that will help some of his fellow inmates “give back to the community.” He will never get back to any community; he is serving a “double life” sentence. But because he is not going anywhere, he can provide leadership to those who are. Some will go to the 35 Cleveland restaurants that are eager to help themselves, and reduce recidivism while doing so, by hiring those who learn in prison to serve the food plate from the left and to remove it from the right. Small things learned inside can help people stay outside.
Every Thursday evening True Freedom Ministries hosts an addiction recovery program in the heart of the inner-city, called Reformers Unanimous (R.U.). “The only time you hear of 55th and Francis is on the news,” one attendee said. But God has us right where he wants us. Each week between thirty and forty people gather in the gymnasium behind our office to find support, accountability, and the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.
Setting Captives Free is a non-denominational ministry which teaches the biblical principles of freedom in Jesus Christ. Founder and President, Mike Cleveland, was captive to habitual sins for many years. He finally began to seek help and learned the biblical solution to his sin problem: repentance, forgiveness, and the newness of life that comes through the gospel.
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In February a film crew consisting of three inmates and a Department Supervisor from Grafton Reintegration Center visited the headquarters of True Freedom to film a short documentary that was initially aired within the Ohio Department of Corrections, at all of the prisons within the Northeast Region of the State. “It was a privilege to have the men temporarily released to utilize the skills they are learning.”
The video featured True Freedom’s re-entry program as well as the weekly Addiction Recovery program that meets weekly in the inner city of Cleveland.