Heather Rice-Minus was appointed president and CEO of Prison Fellowship beginning in July 2024. Prior to that role, she served as vice president of government affairs and church mobilization. Rice-Minus has directed a team of grassroots and federal policy staff to advance campaigns on pivotal criminal justice issues. Her wide-ranging policy expertise has contributed to becoming a valued voice in the discussion of criminal justice reform. She has a vested interest in reform as someone who has both been a victim of crime and as she walked alongside a family member during his incarceration. Rice-Minus is a graduate of Colorado State University and George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.
The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world with almost 2 million people currently imprisoned. Mass incarceration along with other systemic issues have had a significant impact on the outcomes for individuals involved in the system. But God can and does bring restoration and revival to individuals and communities affected by crime and incarceration.
In Today’s Conversation with NAE President Walter Kim, Heather Rice-Minus, incoming president and CEO of Prison Fellowship, shares stories of transformed lives inside and outside prison walls, and discusses the importance of efforts to redeem broken systems.
You’ll also learn:
- Why Chuck Colson started Prison Fellowship in 1976;
- What challenges exist in the criminal justice system today;
- How God can use institutions for renewal and restoration; and
- What brings Heather hope for those impacted by incarceration.
Read a Portion of the Transcript
Walter: What are some of the challenges that Prison Fellowship faces, and what are some of the challenges that Prison Fellowship would like the Church or society at large to deal with?
Heather: We want to see more churches talking about this. Every two years, Prison Fellowship commissions Barna Group to help us with some polling on Christians’ perceptions of justice and incarceration. We always ask, “Is your church active and talking about the following issues?” And we’ve got a bunch of issues, things like sanctity of life and domestic violence and human trafficking and homelessness, as well as criminal justice. The lowest on the totem pole is always criminal justice. And one in three Americans are estimated to have a criminal record today… . So that’s a challenge is to have more churches talking about this. And then taking action to really show that they care, particularly for those coming home.
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- Learn how your church can partner with Prison Fellowship.
- Watch Pastor Q’s testimony.
- Check out other NAE resources on Criminal Justice Reform.
Today’s Conversation is brought to you by He Gets Us.