By becoming a statistic of the criminal justice system, Karlton experienced how incarceration impacted individuals, families and communities. With the public having limited knowledge, understanding, and resources available to address the underlying issues, Karlton decided to propose and implement practical solutions for the church.
As Karlton begin to reach out to local assemblies, he discovered that many of them did not possess prison ministries and this grieved him in his spirit. After much prayer, Karlton was lead by the Lord to bring awareness to pastors concerning the importance of each assembly possessing a prison ministry.
The first thing he revealed was that prison ministry is a MANDATE from God:
I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me;I was in prison and you came to me. (Matthew 25:36)(NKJV)
Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.(Hebrews 13:3)(NKJV)
Realizing that Prison Ministry is a MANDATE from God, Karlton acknowledges the fact that God does not give a mandate without designating someone to fulfill the mandate. God provides provision to fulfill the vision and He anoints whomever He appoints. With this being said, Karlton firmly believes that regardless of how large or small the congregation, God has preempted someone for this mandate. In many instances where an assembly does not possess a prison ministry, this individual(s) has not stepped out in faith to develop and implement the ministry.
Karlton does not only train the prison ministry staff, but he also assists in developing the programs. He does so by delivering meaningful and practical services for at risk youth, incarcerated adults/juveniles, recently released individuals, and families/support structures. Karlton thoroughly explains that for any prison ministry to be successful it must have prevention, intervention, and reentry components. He advocates for churches to establish collaboration agreements with like-minded faith based organizations, who understand the issues within the prison system as well as the barriers in the community.
Training/Development Topics include:
- Institutional Do/Don’ts
- Action Plans
- Program Evaluation
Below is a sample Prison Ministry Organizational/Program Chart.