Each year, 600,000 individuals incarcerated in federal prisons are released. Of them, 75% return within as little as three years.
This vicious cycle compelled Apostle Ronald C. Hill, Sr. of Love and Unity Christian Fellowship to coordinate and host the “Life Before & After Prison Conference” for the formerly incarcerated.
The day and a half conference will be held at Love and Unity Christian Fellowship at 1840 S. Wilmington Ave, Compton, California, 90220 on the evening of Friday, September 9 at 7:00 p.m., and all day on Saturday, September 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
Apostle Hill, explained, “With all the black men and women in our community disproportionately impacted by the Criminal Justice System, we thought it would be wise to provide information and resources that would both prevent our people from entering the prison system and restore the ex-prisoners and their families who have already suffered from its devastating effects.”
Among the conference’s many highlights, including panel discussions and personal stories of those formerly incarcerated, there will be a testimony from former mayor and congressman of Compton, Pastor Walter R. Tucker III of Truth and Love Christian Church. Tucker was indicted and found guilty of bribery and tax evasion in 1995. He served eighteen months in federal prison.
“I was a Christian before I went to prison,” Pastor Tucker reflected, “But after being convicted, instead of spending my time blaming people, and the system for my incarceration, I took a good, long look at why and how I ended up in prison and repented to God, and made a decision to give myself totally to serving Christ and to having greater integrity. Such repentance is available to all. Anyone can accept Christ in their heart and then decide to not only recognize him as their Savior (Forgiver of their sins) but as their Lord (the Master of their lives).”
A credit to the relationships formed and maintained by Pastor Tucker over 30 years in public service, local government, county government and the City of Compton are contributing support to the conference, bolstering what he refers to as the “natural and spiritual resources” it will provide.
These resources include housing, clothing, food, employment, and expungement so that those formerly incarcerated may work again. Pastor Tucker also noted the importance of the emotional support that is key to giving former prisoners the sense that they are forgiven and loved.
The goals lofty and the partnerships hefty, setting up effective systems that will persist for generations to come may prove challenging, but Hill and Tucker are optimistic.
“I feel that my work is just beginning,” said Pastor Tucker. “I thank God that my church, Truth and Love Christian Church, has survived the pandemic and is now poised to work with Apostle Ronald Hill and Love and Unity Christian Fellowship. As church leaders, [we can] partner with countless other churches and ministries who have like hearts to address this generational problem.”
The conference is designed to inspire former prisoners so that they may be free to become the next leaders and contribute to society in a positive way.
Pastor Tucker summed it up this way: “We’re breaking the vicious cycle and turning it into a victory cycle.”
To register or learn more, call (310) 604-5900 or go to www.loveandunity.org.