The Jericho Project is the name given to our ministry efforts inside the prison walls. In the sixth chapter of Joshua, we see God’s people encircling the city of Jericho. These walls were thought to be impenetrable by many. However, in Hebrews 11:30, we read, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.” It was God’s doing!
Walls are thick in the prison environment, and not just the ones laced with razor wire. Men have what can appear to many to be impenetrable walls of anger, hatred, unforgiveness, addiction, loneliness, and hopelessness. But, by faith… the walls can come down! By God’s grace, in partnership with CoreCivic and the Tennessee Department of Corrections, Men of Valor has been given the opportunity to offer intensive, faith-based programming inside the prison walls.
The Jericho Project is a voluntary program. Men inside the prison can apply to participate. They are then interviewed and selected based on two main requirements: one, they have enough time to complete the entire 6 months, and two, they exhibit a sincere desire to change. This is accomplished by consistent class attendance and participation, regularly meeting with Men of Valor staff and volunteers for counseling and training, meeting the objective requirements for Scripture memory and daily Biblical journaling, a commitment to live by the Men of Valor Covenant, and a consistent display of integrity and good behavior within the prison system. Even after meeting the objective requirements, every man must be individually interviewed. Then, prior to being accepted into the residential aftercare discipleship academy, he must commit to the contractual requirements of living for one year under Men of Valor’s guidance after his release from prison.
Core programs emphasize the participants’ need for restoration with God, family, community and society. The two main focuses of our work inside the prison walls are to introduce each man to God’s plan for his life according to His Word, and to introduce him to the opportunity to engage with Men of Valor and our discipleship academy once he is released. The core program areas of the curriculum inside the prison include:
- Salvation – Are you born again?
- What is a real man?
- The Love of God
- Tennessee Voices for Victims – Impact of crimes on victims
- Recovery – Overcoming Addiction
- Bondage Breakers – Truth vs. Lies
- Identity – Who I Am in Christ
- The book of Romans
- Personal values and morality based on in-depth Biblical training
- One-on-one counseling
- Scripture Memory
- Daily Journaling
- A Covenant of Biblical Manhood
The materials used in Men of Valor’s teaching and training program are mainstream, faith-based materials with proven track records. From a doctrinal standpoint, they are not radical in any way.
The majority (75%) of the men we work with at Men of Valor are fathers. The Jericho Project is an incredible opportunity to give these incarcerated fathers the tools they need to change their lives and their family legacies. This program provides a firm foundation for personal growth and a solid start for these men before they reenter society.