Prison Fellowship Kicks Off Second Chance Month with 5K

Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest criminal justice reform nonprofit, held its second annual 5K race Monday afternoon to begin Second Chance Month—a month-long series of events held across the country that aim to educate and prompt Americans to provide second chances to those who have been incarcerated or affected by those who have.

About 60 runners and walkers— all either employees of the nonprofit or family members—participated in the race, with the fastest time recorded at 21 minutes and 30 seconds.

The race course had participants starting off at the nonprofit’s Lansdowne location before winding down Woodridge Parkway toward Lansdowne Resort, wrapping around a medical complex across the street from Inova Loudoun Hospital and returning back to the office building.

After the run and awards ceremony, participants listened in on a talk centered on second chances by Tony Kitchens, the nonprofit’s field director for Georgia and Northern Florida and a former prison inmate.

Like Prison Fellowship’s mission, Kitchen’s talk focused on the importance of giving incarcerated Americans a second chance at normal life after being locked up. According to the nonprofit, more than 600,000 of the nation’s 2.2 million incarcerated individuals are released each year, about two-thirds of whom are rearrested within three years.

To address the problem, the nonprofit—which was founded in 1976 by Charles Colson, the former special counsel to President Richard Nixon who was imprisoned for seven months for obstruction of justice in attempting to cover up the Watergate Scandal—is working to create 172 Prison Fellowship Academy sites in all 50 states by 2026 to help prisoners with their reentry into the world and to help them “embrace their God-given potential in Christ.”

The nonprofit will hold seven in-prison 5Ks this month in Minnesota and Ohio, prayer walks in Washington, DC, Arkansas and California this Saturday, a motorcycle ride from North Carolina to D.C. and an event at Phillips State Prison in Buford, GA to cap the month off on April 28.

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