Scarcely a day passes when prisons are not featured in our media. Our last Year's Review mentioned a prison population of nearly 53,000. It is now approaching 60,000 and a Prison Ship is to be used in Portsmouth harbour to cope with the increase. The work of Stepping Stones continues against a growing need as well as the hardening of public attitudes towards offenders.
The number of men we can help is limited. This year 13 residents spent time at Park View and 4 at Bridge House. Our work has always been about the generous investment of time, love emotions and resources. Other approaches fail and men end up reoffending and returning to prison.
This has happened to only one of our residents during the year and he has requested a return and another chance - something that we are inclined to give him because there is a value in every person and because God has done the same for each one of us.
This year our director has taken over many of the tasks previously held by the Trustees. We are grateful to three Trusts whose grants have enabled his employment and to all who have given so generously.
The Rev. Paul Perkin, Vicar of St Marks, and Chaplin to Stepping Stones, reports that the link between his Church and our hostels has never been better. It is encouraging that they have employed two of Park View residents as Church assistants.
There are now three Prayer Ministry Teams provoding support for individuals residents. The Lord graciously displays His love through these teams who over a number of sessions spend many hours with those who request assistance.
Our desire is that prayer should undergird Stepping Stones' ministry in 'setting the captives free'. As one of the letters we received states "I was evil, violent junky 12 months ago. Brother, you'd better believe you efforts and prayers get answered, boy do they!!".
Peter Denison Chairman (Probation Officer)
Date updated : 13th June 1997
Webmaster : David Daniel