Building Relationships to earn Trust so we can speak Truth

Building Relationships to earn Trust so we can speak Truth

Becoming a Stable Bridge

The murder of George Floyd has left many Christians feeling disheartened, divided, and unsure where to go next in fulfilling their Biblical mandate to heal racial and ethnic divisions. In response, unCUFFED Executive Director John Rusnak facilitated a conversation between three Baltimore City pastors—George Lawson, Antoine Payne, and George Hopkins—to discuss how Christians can build relationships across disparate communities, speak bold truth while practicing empathetic listening, and stand united without uniformity. Click on the "Watch the Forum Video" button to hear their various experiences and thoughts, and learn what Scripture calls us to do in the face of racial division.


The 6 Levels of Forgiveness

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I am sorry I was caught, I am sorry I am in jail.

I feel foolish and humiliated by my circumstances but I must forgive myself and take the next best step. Ephesians 1:4 ‘Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.’

I am sorry I hurt my Mom, my Dad, my family, my girlfriend, my closest friends.

I must acknowledge the pain I have caused to those close to me and ask for forgiveness. Psalm 51:3 ‘For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

I must forgive the people that have hurt me in the past.

Many of us have been through traumatic events in life. If we hold on to that pain it makes us angry and bitter. You don’t forgive people to let them off the hook, you forgive them so you can move on. Proverbs 29:22 ‘An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.’

I am sorry I hurt my victims and I must ask them for forgiveness.

As you write your court letter to apologize do it sincerely acknowledging what you have done wrong and plead for forgiveness. James 5:16 ‘Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.’
I am sorry that my actions have damaged the community I live in. Understanding that your actions have a ripple effect that damage the community, the economy, hope and optimism. Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

I am sorry that my actions have damaged the community I live in.

Understanding that your actions have a ripple effect that damage the community, the economy, hope and optimism. Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

I am sorry that I have sinned against God.

I must repent for my sins. This is ultimately why unCUFFED exists, to call you to repentance and forgiveness through Jesus. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”


The Why

When youth are charged as adults in the criminal justice system, unCUFFED staff and volunteers get to know them. We work with detention facilities, businesses, and parents to help youth who are being held in adult facilities transition to the next stage of life. By spending time with these youth and building enduring relationships, unCUFFED seeks the privilege to guide their perspective, show God’s love, and prepare them with skills for an uncertain future. Our goal is to help youth mature, show the community how to help, and work to reduce repeat offenders.

unCUFFED Golf Tournament

unCUFFED Golf Tournament

September 14, 2020, 12 Noon Registration & 1 pm Shotgun Start

September 14, 2020, Noon Registration & 1 pm Shotgun Start

Hunt Valley Country Club
$175 per player

Hunt Valley Country Club
$175 per player


Snail Mail Ministry

Like many of our volunteers, Bob Carmen was initially discouraged and a bit nervous when the pandemic closed detention facility doors...and when he found out he’d be keeping up with ...

El Poder de un Amigo por Correspondencia

This in a except from Barbara Rowe's most recent newsletter. It was a chilly day in January when I first entered the Baltimore County Detention Center with Kim Turner, Area ...

The Church for Social, Societal & Systemic Change

As Christians, we must remember that God not only hates sin in individuals, but also the sin that invades our governments, organizations, and other institutions and structures. In Isaiah 10, ...

Condemnation of Sin

We know assuredly that God hates sin. In 1 Corinthians 15:34 Paul tells us to “Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning.” These words are very true but if ...

Be Reconciled

Be Reconciled - 2 Cor 5:11-21 tells us that we are Ambassadors of Christ. Being the ambassador of a sovereign state must be very difficult; you are not meant to ...

Walk Humbly

In the world, humility is often mistaken for weakness or low self-esteem. Just sit in a room with a group of teenage boys and listen to their initial reactions when ...

Love Mercy

At unCUFFED we strive to act justly, accepting the justice and consequences our kids face in court proceedings. Still, we love mercy so much more. The judicial system has the ...

unCUFFED’s Response to the Murder of George Floyd

During my 30 plus years as a pastor in different congregations, certain tragic events took place that required an immediate shift in focus as to what I planned to preach ...

A New Path To Success

“You have a lot to prove when you come from prison, people might look at you like you’re a bad person. I use that as motivation to keep getting better,” ...

Racial Reconciliation: What Can Christians Do?

As unCUFFED prayerfully develops devotionals on Biblical Social Justice, God has led us to confront some of the most difficult issues facing the church today, including racism and the ongoing ...

Our Services

Many boys and girls in Maryland live in turmoil. In their homes, they experience poverty, hunger, abuse, and familial strife. Some do not have a home at all. In their schools, they feel distracted, frustrated, worthless, and unappreciated. On their streets, they witness derelict buildings, record-breaking crime, trauma, and death. The daily challenges they face leave these kids feeling trapped in an existence that holds no promise, no future and no hope. This mindset leads them down dangerous paths, which often leads to incarceration or death.

This is where unCUFFED Ministries comes in, to form relationships with these boys and girls to show them an alternate path that changes their narrative leading to redemption, hope and the love of Jesus Christ.



One-to-One mentoring connects youth in the facility with adults who are committed to walking alongside them.


Bible Study

A deeper dive into Biblical Truth applicable to the lives of these boys and girls.



The Transitions and Impending Classes are designed to offer various life skills training that will assist the youth wherever their next step may be.



Tutors are provided according to recommendations by the facility’s school program and matched to the boys and girls who are working to continue their education while incarcerated.


Creative Arts

We believe that Art can be transformative. Our Creative Arts Class teaches basic art techniques and processes to offer the youth a constructive and creative outlet.



S.E.L.F. (Safety, Emotions, Loss & Future) allows young adults to address the problems and the effects of exposure to violence or trauma in their lives.

Our Locations

unCUFFED staff and volunteers work in over 10 city and county detention facilities across Maryland. Click on a location below to learn more about the facility, including information about how to visit an inmate, send money or directions to the location.