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Annual Report

January to March of 2020 were a continuation of a successful 2019 as we expanded our volunteer team to start a Book Club with the young men in the Department of Corrections’ Youth Diversion Program using the Master Plan by Chris Wilson while also partnering with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Grace Community Church to hold workout classes for Ladies at the Patuxent Institution. We increased our presence inside, connecting with new boys and girls. Much of our effort focused on the Hickey School, Baltimore County Detention Center, Harford County Detention Center, and the Youth Detention Center in Baltimore City

Then the pandemic came and shut us down completely for nearly 3 months, but God had another plan! unCUFFED was able to successfully pivot in this changing environment to focus on written communication, virtual visits, reentry and prayer.

Scroll down to learn more about how we have weathered this storm and how God has used this time to create stronger relationships between our kids and our volunteers!

Staying in touch through snail mail

Our focus remains on breaking down silos in the church, so whenever possible we look to partner with our Christian Brothers and Sisters, who are already doing good work, rather than recreating the wheel. We had a group of Latino boys at BCDC who are not fluent English speakers so we partnered with Barbara Rowe from Christ for the City ministries, who runs a gang outreach program in El Salvador. Along with another fluent Spanish speaker, Lindsay Conboy, we are writing and translating letters to Latino boys to build enduring relationships en el Nombre de Jesus.

We also have 52 other staff and volunteers corresponding with boys and girls all over the state, offering hope and love to the least and lost. This endeavor has been crucial during the months in which face to face contact was impossible for our volunteers and our kids.

Number of Letters Back and Forth
Number of Volunteers Writing
Number of Children Receiving Letters

Virtual Visits- Our programs

We are partnering with an amazing new ministry called 4th Purpose run by Josh Smith. Their core belief is: after retribution, incapacitation and deterrence the fourth purpose of incarceration should be transformation. Josh spent 5 years in Federal prison when he was a young man and now leads this ministry. 4th Purpose has provided us with a wealth of video and written content to use in our virtual classes. Watch a bit of this video or click on the talking points on the right to sample the quality of the content they provide.

See a sample of our content by clicking below

Virtual Visits- Our Locations

We are conducting virtual visits and classes in the following institutions:

Hover over the pins to learn more!


Boys, Cheltenham (CYDC)- Learn more by clicking here

Boys, Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center (BCJJC)- Learn more by clicking here

Boys, Western MD Children's Center (WMCC)

Boys, Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center (LESCC)

Boys, Noyes, Backbone Mt. (BBMC)

Boys, Green Ridge Youth Center (GRYC)

Boys, Garrett Youth Center (GYC)

Boys, Victor Cullen (VC) (Males Only)

Boys, Hickey School- Learn more by clicking here

Girls, Waxter Center- Learn more by clicking here

Girls, Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center (LESCC)
- Noyes, Mt. View (Females Only)

Girls, Noyes, Mt. View (Females Only)

Visits Through Glass

Meeting with boys behind glass at the Harford County Detention Center can often feel like we are staring into a dim and cracked old mirror. It is not optimal, but for unCUFFED to successfully pivot to serve in these trying COVID-19 days we must take advantage of this limited access to continue to build enduring relationships in sub-optimal situations. Now we may see dimly through that scratched and dirty glass, but when this is over the boys will know we have cared for them and loved them well, they will be fully known.

Highlighted Stories

We find that it is important to share information about what our kids experience while incarcerated and as they interact with our volunteers. Below are three powerful stories to help illustrate what life is like and why our work is so vital.

Does Every Girl Need a Boaz?

Matthew 1:5-6 “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.”

Read More

The Prayer of a Righteous Boy

James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. A prayer of a righteous person, when it is brought about, can accomplish much.”

Read More

Snail Mail Ministry

“I would love for you to be open with me and comfortable. You can ask me any question, or if you’re confused about something please feel free to ask.” -Inmate at Patuxent

Read More

The Four Pillars of Reentry Work

Hover over the box to learn more.

Connecting With A Church

Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” When a boy returns home we help him make changes in his life and help him to choose a healthy community of people to postivlely influence him. For boys following their faith we connect them to a church, small group, or a community of believers. 

Finding A Job

We feel strongly that a job instills a sense of worth and dignity in a young man. Work also provides a large disincentive to return to criminal activity. We make every effort to place boys in jobs and we have had success this year! The key is to place a boy who has a mentor that can actively encourage him to work hard and be a blessing to his employer. One young man's positive work performance can blaze a trail for others to be hired. Do you have a job opportunity you can offer to a young man?

Completing Education

Education, returning to High School, obtaining a GED, or even community college are also an important focus. We feel that education, the expanding of one's mind can be a key to living a safe and peaceful life while being able to support yourself.

Partnering With A Mentor

John recently began mentoring a young man from Towson, who spent 15 months incarcerated and was released as part of the swift pandemic decarceration. Currently, he is working, has connected with a church member at Sowebo Community Church and John is seeing him once a week to study the book of John while he pours through his Jesus Calling daily devotional on his own. 


James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. A prayer of a righteous person, when it is brought about, can accomplish much.”
We are confident that corporate prayer is world changing. Won't you be part of our team?
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Looking forward to 2021

We urge you to remember our 2020 focus on the ‘But Godverses in the Bible. In times of trouble God often has another idea. He doesn’t just redeem us for Himself. He also redeems our stories for Himself. What the enemy means for evil — to split our faith and families wide open – God uses for good. We are assured that God is strongly leading us to weather this pandemic storm as we walk a new path, fully reliant on Him in this uncertain time.

After a smaller than usual golf tournament and the cancellation of our annual fundraiser we are asking all of our friends, family and supporters to consider a generous end of year gift. We must replenish our war chest to fight satan and maintain a hedge of protection around our boys and girls.

Please walk alongside us to love and serve these boys and girls inside the facilities and in the streets of our communities; to provide mentoring, Bible Study, resources, employment services, connections to new people with new attitudes, and mostly to help us reveal the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His love which surpasses all understanding.


Thank you for your faithful support!


John M. Rusnak, Executive Director