New opportunities for Plumas County inmates

Pastors and members of several churches in Plumas County have gathered together to offer a self-help program to inmates at the Plumas County Jail.

The program, called “Celebrate Recovery: Inside,” is designed to help make it easier for inmates to transition back into society upon their release.

At the core of the Celebrate Recovery ministry are 12 steps and the Biblical relationship they are based on, along with eight principles that are based on the “Beatitudes” from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

CR has been around for over 25 years and is currently being used in more than 30,000 churches worldwide as a method to help anyone overcome their hurts, hang-ups and habits.

The CR website describes the program like this: “We choose to put our faith into action by taking Jesus, using the Celebrate Recovery 12 Step and 8 Principles, inside to the prisoners incarcerated in facilities throughout the United States and around the world.

“Whether it is in to a maximum security facility, a medium security facility or a community level facility, we feel that God has chosen and commissioned us to be His hands and feet to take the healing available through Celebrate Recovery to our incarcerated brothers and sisters.

“We have been blessed with the mission of helping them to learn the tools God has provided to overcome their hurts, habits, and hang-ups through Celebrate Recovery to better equip them for their life as a grateful believer in Jesus Christ whether still on the inside, or preparing them for transitioning back into life on the outside.”

The lead for this program is Pastor Dan Hanna of the Chester Baptist Church.

He stressed that the focus of CR is teaching the inmates how to make “Life’s Healing Choices.”

Chester Baptist Church, Lake Almanor Community Church, Springs of Hope Church in Quincy and Station Baptist Church in Portola all currently have CR programs as part of their ministries.

Hanna also emphasized that families of inmates are welcome to attend the programs in their respective communities to have access to the same information and ideas.

When asked for his view of this new program in the jail, Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood indicated that he was in support of any program that would better the quality of life and meet the needs of the people in his facility.

Hagwood also mentioned that he liked the “Whole Person Approach” used by the CR program and the prospect of a continuum of care for those after release.

He noted that there are other programs currently at the jail, including Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and said he always appreciates the folks who are willing to donate their time in the jail to help other people.

Hanna confirmed he would look forward to coordinating CR sessions with the Sheriff’s Department Chaplain Brad Campbell who is also affiliated with the Station Baptist Church.

Hanna would also look forward to talking with anyone interested in joining this ministry.