LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– A non-profit held an event at a Nevada women’s prison on Wednesday, one of the first visits to a state prison since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
Prison Fellowship aims to make sure people who are released from incarceration don’t return using Christian teachings to impact change.
Wednesday’s visit at Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center in Las Vegas was the first time Prison Fellowship stopped into a facility in Nevada.
The women heard from volunteers, including Ashleigh Page who shared her mother’s experience being incarcerated. She spent years in the Florida prison system, and it deeply impacted Page’s life.
“We’ve all fallen short, and we’ve all made mistakes,” Page said. “But, we are not who that is. We are not the mistakes that we made.”
Prison Fellowship offers an academy to those behind bars at many prisons around the country.
Regional Director Pamela Gonzales said they teach students the skills to build healthy relationships and lead a positive life through Christianity.
“Everybody deserves a second chance,” Gonzales said. “If they’ve served their time and paid their debt to society, that means they took the time in here to do the work to go home different.”
The change for students starts behind the prison walls.
“We come in with programming and help them unlearn some of those behaviors, and think in a more positive manner,” Gonzales said.
Florence McClure is the only women’s prison in the state of Nevada.
Brian Williams is the deputy director of programs at the Nevada Department of Corrections. Williams said the DOC looks to partner with non-profits such as Prison Fellowship to put forth resources it can’t afford.
“The more busy they are, the more occupied they are, when they’re participating in something that’s positive, it helps get rid some of those negative barriers they would participate in,” Williams said.
Prison Fellowship also advocates for criminal justice reform and works with the federal government on helping those who are recently released from prison.