Prisoner outreach needed, men’s breakfast told

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Prisoner outreach needed, men’s breakfast told

A men’s breakfast in South Hobart has been told that Tasmanian prisoners need more support within and upon leaving gaol.

Michael Wood from Prison Fellowship Australia spoke to the September 16 breakfast gathering about the unmet needs of prisoners upon leaving detention, including things as simple as being able to find accommodation that won’t reconnect them with the same groups of people they had associated with previously.

Breakfast organiser and South Hobart parishioner Martin Stone said Mr Wood’s words had an impact on those who attended.

“He was a very inspiring speaker and he encouraged the men there to get involved in reaching out to people in prison and people who were coming out of prison,” Mr Stone said.

“Most of us hear the lines in scripture about setting prisoners free or ‘you didn’t visit me in prison’ and we feel unable or not capable of actually involving ourselves in that sort of activity and yet what Mike explained to us is that organisations like Prison Fellowship Australia enable ordinary laypeople – male and female – to get involved in bringing good news to people in prison and supporting prisoners in a practical way.”

Mr Stone observed that prison was an alien and distant thing from the experience of most people.

“I think judging by the questions and comments of the men who were there, there were a lot of men who were very interested.”

The men who attended also took part in a communal continental breakfast, singing and a time of prayer.

Held quarterly at St Francis Xavier Church in South Hobart, the men’s breakfast is part of the MenAlive ministry – a ministry of men sharing faith with other men.

The next MenAlive breakfast is set for Saturday, November 25, starting at 8 a.m. Those interested in attending can call Duncan MacFarlane on 0400 095 807.