Re-thinking Prison Ministry: Towards Restorative Justice

michelle smithIn this podcast, chaplains Steve Lowe and Michelle Smith  share from their experiences working extensively with youth in juvenile detention centers, as well as their families. Their stories challenge the prevailing American  correctional approach of isolation and punishment with a Biblical vision of restoring wholeness and shalom(peace) to the whole community. By developing relationships with the whole family as well as reaching out to the victims of crimes, Lowe and Smith offer a way for churches, pastors, and community leaders to restore peace to a community and reparations to the victims.

This podcast was recorded at the 2014 VJN Conference: Kingdom Justice, Vineyard Values.

Steve Lowe is the executive chaplain  of Pacific Youth Correctional Ministry and Protestant Chaplaincy Ministry of Orange County. 

As a former probation juvenile facility counselor and therapist and today as a seasoned juvenile correctional chaplain, Steve has provided over 44 years of professional institutional service to California’s San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties. As the Founder, President, and Executive Chaplain for Pacific Youth Correctional Ministries, an international chaplain-placing ministry, Steve also assists Christian organizations and penal agencies as a consultant in program development and implementation. He has experience as an adjunct faculty member with Wheaton College and the Billy Graham Center (School of Prison Ministry-The American Chaplaincy Training School-Institute for Prison Ministry) and Biola University, specializing in criminology and juvenile delinquency coursework. Professional duties have included membership with the Southern California Area Council of Prison Fellowship, the Law and Justice Group of San Bernardino County, faith-based collaborative efforts at gang violence reduction, and co-founding the Christian Ministries and Chaplain’s Association (CMCA).

Michelle Smith is the para-chaplain Pacific Youth Correctional Ministry and Protestant Chaplaincy Ministry of Orange County. Michelle Smith graduated from California State University of Long Beach with a BA in teaching. She has worked with troubled, high-risk youth for over 12 years in group homes, juvenile hall facilities, public high schools in inner city, and on the streets. She coached youth and high school basketball and worked with gang intervention in neighborhoods and alleys of Santa Ana for several years. Michelle currently serves full-time as a Para-Chaplain with non-profit organization Pacific Youth Correctional Ministries.

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