Jump Start Training Recap

Over 150 individuals from Grace Church gathered to “meet Jump Start” last Thursday evening. Members of the Jump Start staff shared their experiences with the ministry; many of the current staff are Jump Start graduates themselves, and almost all of them have spent time in prison. Around twenty volunteers began the training process that evening, opting to begin working with individuals who are still in prison or with those who have recently been released. To wrap up the event, the Jump Start staff came together for a Q&A session.  

Cary Sanders- Inside Program Director
Chris Pritchard - Outside Mentor Coordinator
Don Williams- Employment Director, Jump Start Co-founder
Vinny Phankhaysy- Jump Start program graduate

What does Jump Start do inside prisons?

Jump Start is inside 16 South Carolina prisons, pursuing men and women and calling them to follow Jesus. They are making disciples through a 40-week discipleship curriculum that teaches the truth of the gospel, brings participants into community, and then challenges them to engage in genuine life change. Men and women in prison are choosing to follow Jesus and to lead their peers to do the same.

How does Jump Start work with individuals who have recently been released from prison?

Individuals who have successfully completed Jump Start’s 40-week program inside the prison are eligible to become a part of their re-entry program over one to two years following their release. Re-joining society after spending five, ten, or twenty years inside a prison is far from easy. Jump Start’s outside program (featuring transitional housing, mentoring, job training, and weekly meetings) helps provide the structure, discipline, and guidance that are needed to ensure that those recently released are not returning to prison as second and third time offenders.

Where does Jump Start work?

Jump Start is hosting weekly programs inside prisons across the state. Several of those facilities are within a 30 minute drive of our campuses. Jump Start’s outside program for those recently released provides transitional housing in Spartanburg County. We are actively working alongside Jump Start to find the space needed for their outside program to expand to Greenville County.

What can I do?

Opportunities range from monthly to weekly commitments. You can support Jump Start’s re-entry program in Spartanburg by volunteering as a driver, providing administrative support, or becoming a mentor to a program participant.

You can begin to volunteer in a prison by becoming a weekly inside volunteer. Opportunities in the Upstate are listed below.

Men’s Facilities:
Tuesdays | 5:15-7:00pm | Livesay A Correctional, Spartanburg
Wednesdays | 12:30-2:30pm | Perry Correctional, Pelzer
Wednesdays | 5:15-7:00pm | Livesay B Correctional, Spartanburg
Thursdays | 9:00-11:00am | Tyger River, Spartanburg

Women’s Facility:
Fridays | 9:30-11:30am | Leath Correctional, Greenwood

We will host our next training for all Jump Start volunteers at our Downtown campus on Tuesday, April 18, at 7:00pm.