CMI Publications

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We have 4 new publications available

Updated and Revised Edition! Correctional Chaplains: Keepers of the Cloak, by W. Thomas Beckner

The faith factor has been identified as both a significant variable in positive inmate adjustment and a potential remedy for recidivism. At the same time, very little has been written about the primary facilitator of religious services inside our nation’s jails and prisons—the chaplain. In Correctional Chaplains: Keepers of the Cloak, Dr. Thomas Beckner has provided a comprehensive perspective of this vital profession. This book will familiarize the reader with the work of chaplaincy in contemporary correctional settings and offer a functional model that incorporates a wide range of job roles within an enduring paradigm and suggest a template for ministry within any correctional setting. 

Dr. W. Thomas Beckner is a recognized authority on correctional chaplaincy, having served in a variety of roles in the criminal justice arena over the past 35 years. He has served in jail and prison chaplaincy, non-profit prison ministry, chaplaincy placement & supervision, and as a consultant to several state and county agencies.  Dr. Beckner has pioneered educational programming for correctional ministries—for community-based non-profit organizations as well as college certificate programs—and has been both a department head and graduate coordinator for criminal justice degree programs at two universities.

ALL RISE: Ministry with Justice-Involved Women, by Lynn O. Cooper and Karen K. Swanson

The mass incarceration of women in American society has risen dramatically to 2018 estimates of 99,000 women living in state prisons, 89,000 women in local jails, and more than one million women are on probation or parole. Abuse and trauma, health problems, parenthood, and poverty add to the “collateral consequences” of incarceration when these women look for work, housing, and financial support after release. The purpose of this text is to give voice to the experiences of these women and improve important ministry outcomes for those faithfully working on their behalf. It is also a call to action for God’s people to demonstrate mercy and justice for justice-involved women. The authors merged interviews, surveys, and site visits with over 550 individuals in 38 states to gain this perspective.  

Those who serve these women, as well as those who are interested in getting started in female justice initiatives, will learn the:

  • personal and economic impact of female incarceration • process of incarceration from arrest to release
  • profile of justice-involved women • patterns of socialization in correctional facilities • problems of reentry and recidivism
  • psychological and spiritual healing that leads to change • practices of effective ministry programs

Updated and Revised Edition! Prison Ministry: Understanding Jail and Prison Culture, by Lennie Spitale

A traveler’s guide for Christians to a foreign land where the fields are ripe for harvest.

For most Christians, prison culture is like visiting a foreign land, and the thought of ministering behind bars with the incarcerated is an intimidating prospect.  The updated edition of Prison Ministry will offer you the empowerment you need as a volunteer, chaplain, pastor, or lay leader in doing effective prison ministry. You will learn about the emotional challenges of the incarcerated, the environment of fear, the culture of deprivation, friendships, guidelines, dos and don’ts, and more. Lennie Spitale has served for over 40 years in all levels of correctional facilities, as Director of Prison Ministries for Vision New England, instructor for Prison Fellowship, and a trainer of chaplains for Good News Jail & Prison Ministry.

Of the former edition, the late Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, wrote, “This may well be the definitive book on prison ministry. Fascinating insights about the prison culture and how to reach it.  Mandatory reading for everyone in corrections and for Christians who care about the command to visit prison.”

Jail Ministry – Preparing Christians to Effectively Volunteer

Volunteering in jail is a cross-cultural ministry requiring specialized training. Most jails do not offer volunteer training, or the training focuses only on security and safety issues. This handbook strives to inform and prepare Christians to effectively volunteer in a jail environment making the most of this ministry opportunity. Understanding the unique characteristics, roles, and responsibilities provides insight into those who live and work there. Recognizing and developing the skills needed to be a quality jail volunteer will help avoid pitfalls that damage ministry opportunities while living out a Biblical foundation for ministry.

“For the jail and jail ministry to fulfill its role, volunteers are needed. Volunteers are wanted. Volunteers are essential. But not everyone can be, will be, or wants to be a high-quality jail volunteer. It is to this select group of high-quality individuals that Dr. Swanson is writing. So that they may be thoroughly equipped to graciously, wisely, and lovingly touch the lives and hearts of those who are entering and exiting through the revolving doors of the local jail. I trust this book will be an encouragement to you as you serve this forgotten people group.”




Arrested: Making Decisions for Yourself and Your Incarcerated Loved One

By Lennie Spitale


Sentenced: Maintaining Relationships During Incarceration

By Lennie Spitale


Released: Preparing for Your Loved One’s Return Home

By Lennie Spitale and Karen Swanson


When Your Child is Arrested: A Parent’s Guide to the Juvenile Justice System

By John Kinsley and Scott Larson