HeartBound believes that the Georgia prison system can be more than just a place where people “serve time.” We envision a prison system where lives are healed, transformed and redeemed. We see a future where the cycle of crime and incarceration is broken, recidivism rates are reduced dramatically, and prisoners are restored to their families, communities, and faith.HeartBound Ministries’ mission is to support, equip, and advocate for Georgia prison chaplains and provide programs and resources to meet the needs of the prison community – correctional staff, inmates, and their families – changing the culture from one of crime and incarceration to hope and restoration. Since 2003, HeartBound has partnered with prison chaplains and volunteers to provide discipleship, counseling, literacy services, computer instruction, life skills training, parenting classes, spiritual support, and other life-changing programs for youth and adult offenders and their families.
AN ESTIMATED 75,000 CHILDREN HAVE A PARENT IN A GEORGIA PRISON, AND TWO-THIRDS OF GEORGIA'S CHILDREN HAVE A READING LEVEL LOWER THAN THAT OF THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. HAVING A PARENT IN PRISON DECREASES THE LIKELIHOOD OF BEING READ TO AS A CHILD. HEARTBOUND MINISTRIES’ LITTLE READERS PROGRAM ALLOWS CHILDREN TO SEE AND HEAR THEIR INCARCERATED PARENT OR LOVED ONE READING TO THEM VIA DVD. THESE PERSONALIZED READ-ALOUD DVDS HELP DECREASE CHILDREN’S FEAR ABOUT THEIR LOVED ONE’S ABSENCE AND FEEL MORE SECURE IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WHILE PROMOTING LITERACY AND BOOK ACCESS. THROUGH LITTLE READERS, CHILDREN IMPACTED BY INCARCERATION CAN WATCH THE DVD AND READ ALONG REPEATEDLY, PROVIDING VALUABLE AND CONTINUAL CONNECTIONS WITH THEIR LOVED ONE AS THEY SEE HIM READING WITH LOVE AND ENTHUSIASM, OFTEN FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. HEARTBOUND ALSO SPONSORS THE LITTLE READERS BOOK CLUB WHICH PLACES CHILDREN'S BOOKS IN PRISON VISITATION ROOMS AND PROVIDES INCENTIVES FOR CHILDREN TO READ WITH THEIR INCARCERATED PARENT.