JoCo ministry’s Reading With Dad program connects inmates to their children virtually amid COVID-19 lockdown

first_imgWith family visits on hold for the past six months at Lansing Correctional Facility in Leavenworth County, a new program is helping inmates stay connected with their children while serving time.Led by Relentless Prison Ministry based in Johnson County, the new program, Reading With Dad, allows incarcerated fathers in the maximum-security prison to make a recording of themselves reading a children’s book out loud. The children’s book and the recording, which includes a personal message from father to child, are sent to the inmate’s son or daughter.Approved by facility administration after the start of this year, Reading with Dad was suspended alongside other programs and classes right when the program launched in the spring, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy Relentless Prison Ministry.“It’s an effort that’s been on my heart to do for a while,” said Cody Carter, founder of the ministry and program director. “With incarceration for a lot of guys, it causes them to reflect on the things that matter. And I think the biggest thing that usually hits guys is connection with family. A lot of them feel lonely and disconnected but it also leaves families on the outside longing for that connection.”Approved by Lansing officials at the start of this year, Reading with Dad was suspended, alongside other programs and classes, right when the program launched in the spring, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Carter resumed Reading with Dad in August.Trying to break the generational cycle of crimeThe program is intended to support inmates’ children and families and improve their relationships, Carter said, citing studies that show that children of incarcerated parents are at greater risk of becoming incarcerated themselves.“There’s a lot of scary statistics that are out there,” he said. “So part of this effort is to allow these guys to show their kids how much they care about them, to sort of reduce that cycle of crime and to bring families together and that for there to be restoration and fill that gap.”Every day Carter visits the prison, he records inmates reading children’s stories and ships the books and recordings home to their children. Family visits at Lansing Correctional Facility remain suspended due to COVID-19, so the program helps keep families connected and lets children know that their fathers love them and are thinking of them, Carter said.He says the program has been successful in the short time since he launched it.“Since these men haven’t been able to see their child in person for over six months now, it has been a great tool to keep families connected, especially for occasions like birthdays,” said Cody Carter, ministry founder and program director. Photo courtesy Relentless Prison Ministry.“It is great to see the men in prison get excited about selecting a book and reading it to their child,” Carter said, noting that several children have received recordings of their father reading aloud in time for their birthdays. “Since these men haven’t been able to see their child in person for over six months now, it has been a great tool to keep families connected, especially for occasions like birthdays.”Several JoCo churches involvedFour churches in Johnson County and their members are involved with the ministry’s programs: Real Church KC in Lenexa, Community Bible Church in Olathe, Life Mission Church in Olathe and Journey Bible Church in Olathe. In non-COVID times, many members of those churches support the ministry by also visiting and spending time with inmates themselves.“This will help the father and child to know that neither is forgotten,” said David Langford, one of the ministry volunteers.About 65 of the 1,300 inmates at Lansing are participating in Relentless Prison Ministry, so those men would be considered first to participate in this program. Two-thirds of them have already shown interest or started participating. In the future, once it’s safe to do so, an inmate or two may assist with the recordings for the project and receive payment for their contributions; for now, Carter is handling the program by himself.“It does something positive for the inmates in the program, but it also does something, I think, very significant for the children, where they don’t just feel like Dad is gone,” Carter said. “There’s this kind of display of love and care by way of these recordings. There’s a lot of excitement, and I think it’s a good motivator too, for guys to want to be in the program, for guys to treat that as a privilege.“They’re very excited to have this opportunity to show their kids how much they care and how much is on their heart. I hope it inspires these men to be an example for their children,” he said.last_img read more

Shell names new HR boss

first_imgRoyal Dutch Shell announced Friday that it would appoint a new Chief Human Resources & Corporate Officer.According to the oil and gas major, Ronan Cassidy is replacing Hugh Mitchell, who will be leaving the company after 36 year’s of service. The new appointment is with effect from January 1, 2016.In his new role, Cassidy, a British citizen, will become a member of the Executive Committee. He is currently Executive Vice President Human Resources, Upstream International / Rest of the World Operations.He joined Shell in 1988 and has held a variety of human resources positions across the Upstream and Downstream businesses.[mappress mapid=”2567″]last_img

Frank Lampard left to rue Chelsea draw at West Ham

first_imgFrank Lampard is disappointed Chelsea missed the chance to go six points clear at the top of the Premier League by failing to beat West Ham on Sunday.The Blues could have made capital out of title rivals Manchester United’s shock 3-0 defeat at Fulham on Saturday but only drew 1-1 at Upton Park.“We had a great chance to capitalise on other results but we didn’t do that,” Lampard told BBC Radio 5 live.“We did not play well enough, particularly in the first half.”West Ham took the lead with a penalty from Alessandro Diamanti on the stroke of half-time after Jack Collison was fouled by Ashley Cole.But Chelsea drew level on 61 minutes when Matthew Upson was ruled to have fouled Daniel Sturridge in the penalty box, although the defender appeared to win the ball fairly. Former Hammers star Lampard stepped up to convert from the spot at the third attempt after referee Mike Dean had ordered the kick to be retaken twice for players encroaching into the area.West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola revealed he was disappointed with the decision.“The referee got it right in the first place then the linesman put his flag up and the referee changed his mind,” he said.“His first impression was the right one. Pity he did not stay with that. The players were disappointed. The linesman put the flag up and that’s why he gave it.“It’s a pity because the referee was better positioned than the linesman. He was closer to the action.” England midfielder Lampard admitted taking the penalty was a challenging situation, especially as he was facing international team-mate Robert Green in the West Ham goal.“I’d rather do it against a keeper I don’t know,” confirmed Lampard. “Me and Greeny practise with England so he was aware of my technique. There was a bit of mind games. Fortunately they all went in.”West Ham went into the game on the back of three straight league defeats and in desperate need of a win to boost their chances of avoiding relegation.But they showed plenty of hunger and desire against a Chelsea side who have failed to produce their best form in recent weeks.“We wanted to start well and start sharp but we didn’t do that,” said Lampard. “We gave West Ham a chance to build a head of steam and we made it tough for ourselves. “We’re four points clear, so we have to take the positives, but we do have to get back to playing how we were a few games ago.”Manager Carlo Ancelotti agreed with Lampard that Chelsea only started performing after the interval.And he blamed the busy festive period for his team’s poor first-half display.He stated: “We started only in the last 45 minutes. Before we played without intensity and were slow. We didn’t move the ball quickly in midfield.“We’re not in the best moment but every team has problems in this period. “There are a lot of matches, every three days, and it’s not easy to maintain concentration, to maintain strength every three days.”Chelsea face a trip to high-flying Birmingham on Boxing Day before entertaining another in-form side in Fulham only two days later.Source: bbclast_img read more