Linda Pischke

Faith for Women in Prison

Out of sight, out of mind. That’s a cliché that seems to be applied by many of us to people in jail. Sadly, the “problem” is far from resolved simply because someone has been caught, convicted and sentenced to serve time behind bars. Linda Pischke will share some heart-wrenching stories and some cold hard truth in her post below and in my interview with her (following a chat with Kristen Clark)  and podcast on this page after that.

Bold Living airs on stations in various cities and for easy on-demand access, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes (search Diane Markins) from my website.  Diane Markins 

Why Prison Ministry?
by Linda Pischke

The United States leads the world in producing prisoners. In 2008, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 2.3 million men and women incarcerated in the US. Eighty-five percent of these individuals are non-violent offenders who will eventually return home to live in our communities.

Whether we pay higher prices for goods and services as a result of theft, or come into direct contact with someone who has committed a crime, all of us are affected in some way by the actions and decisions of these individuals. We can no longer live with the illusion that if we just put enough bad people behind bars, our society will be safe.

The barriers to successful re-integration are overwhelming for offenders who lack basic education and job skills. Even minimum wage jobs can be out of reach for individuals with a criminal record. An offender can lose everything while incarcerated. Unless there is a family and a job waiting for her, it is unlikely she will secure shelter, furniture, transportation, and medical care without the help of community agencies.

I have seen inmates go through this process multiple times. If a woman has exhausted all of her options for free resources, she may choose to return to an abusive partner who pays the rent and most likely got her in trouble in the first place. If that is not an option, the more resourceful woman will survive the only way she knows how: stealing, selling drugs, or selling herself. If arrested again, she becomes another statistic in a process called recidivism.

Can prison ministry really make a difference? The answer is “yes.” I have seen people turn their lives around because someone cared enough to mentor them. We will not heal every hurt or find a solution to every problem, but I believe Jesus calls us to love the unlovable, share the Gospel, and show mercy to everyone touched by the criminal justice system. The outcome is not our responsibility. The healing comes from him.

*The interview on Bold Living will move you to tear so don’t miss it! For more information about jail and prison ministry and how you can be involved visit: . Comment below to win a book.

  • Diane Markins

    Linda, thanks so much for sharing this information and for chatting with me on Bold Living. Certainly eye-opening and compassion-building.

  • Great post. Thank you for sharing this, Linda and Diane. I have a friend who runs a prison ministry. I love spending time with her and listening to her share how God is working in the lives of the prisoners. I truly admire all the men and women who dedicate their time to reach out and minister to individuals who are in prison.

    • Diane Markins

      Danielle, please share this with your friend. People serving in prison ministries need every bit of encouragement possible.

    • Diane Markins

      Danielle, you won a copy of The Women of Block 12! Send me your email address to Diane@DianeMarkins.com Thanks for your kind encouragement.

  • Linda Pischke

    Danielle, Thank you for sharing and encouraging your friend in this ministry. Those of us who mentor prisoners get back so much more than we can ever give.

  • Kay

    It has been a blessing to witness the spiritual growth of the ladies in Linda’s Aftercare group. Happy 2nd Anniversary Linda, and congrats to 5 of the ladies who have not re-offended! Read other success stories in Linda’s book, “The Women of Block 12”.

    • Diane Markins

      Thanks Kay. Linda clearly has been gifted with a heart for helping them. Hope you will listen to our chat.

    • Tesa Pierce

      Thanks Kay!!!

    • Joy Landgraf Kosmicki

      Thanks Kay. You have been a big part in our growth. I love you and so grateful that you have followed God’s call to minister to us women.

  • Tesa Pierce

    As one of the founding members of the jail ministry aftercare program Joyful Souls Arising, I am most grateful to have our mentors that love us and guide us unconditionally. Most importantly, I am honored to have my peers to support and care about my accomplishments and to assist when I am dealing with barriers and obstacles in my daily life! Having a safe place to share my concerns and triumphs and not be judged has made a difference in my life! Today I don’t just exist, I live. I live because I am loved!

  • Linda Pischke

    Diane, I would like to give out some free copies of “The Women of Block 12” to your listeners.

    • Diane Markins

      Linda, that would be wonderful. I’m always doing drawings for give-aways and frequently give books away when I’m speaking at events. This brings added awareness about your book to new audiences.
      Continued Bold Blessings!

  • Tesa Pierce

    Thank you Diane Markins for inviting Linda to share our stories and the stories of other women who are without a voice. I am utterly amazed how faith, hope, and prayers can be a catalyst to change… A sincere thank you from The Women of Block 12.
    All the Best,
    Tesa

    • Diane Markins

      Tesa, I can’t say it was a pleasure, because (if you listened to the interview via podcast link above) I broke down a little when I remembered and recounted some of the stories in the book. I can tell you that you women who shared your stories so boldly will change the lives of others and the Lord will bless you in a big way. Can’t wait to see where He takes you!

  • Joy Landgraf Kosmicki

    I listened to your interview today Linda. You did a great job! Thank you for being our voice. I have made some bad choices in my past but through this ministry I received unconditional love, acceptance and encouragement to become a productive woman in society today. I am grateful for Linda and the St. Vincent DePaul jail ministry. I encourage others to read Linda’s book, “The Woman of block 12”. It may change your heart to get involved. You may be the one person who could reveal God’s Love to an offender who is lost and just needs someone to believe in them who might otherwise go back to their old ways because they know no other way to cope with life. I challenge you to God’s call to love others and that offenders too. Sincerely, Joy ( I am “Lynn” in Linda’s book)

    • Linda Pischke

      Joy, I wish everyone could see what a beautiful woman you have become. Thank you for your participation in our aftercare and for mentoring others.

    • Diane Markins

      Joy, it is such a blessing and encouragement to hear your success story and how God has used others to lift you up. Sounds like He has big plans for you! Maybe you’ll be writing a book someday.