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New Guy on the Block

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” How wonderful it is to work for a ministry, that IS a ministry! Although I have yet to meet everyone, I know that everyone whom I have…

Mental Illness and Incarcerated Youths

Psalm 34:17-18 “The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” A boy can be understandably depressed, upset or angry when he is incarcerated. Perhaps he is remorseful for his actions, feeling guilty and…

What Photo Represents God to you

Sometimes, when we have Bible study with the youth we do a warm up where we spread a collection of 30 photographs on a table and ask the guys, “What photo represents God to you?” This short exercise gives us a window into their spiritual journey and perception of God. Below are some of their…

Let’s take the ‘dis’ out of DISCONNECTED

Have you heard the term disconnected youth? That is the latest sociological term for youth between the ages of 16-24 who are either not in any school or are unemployed. So they are disconnected from educational and employment opportunities and really disconnected from achieving their goals and dreams. So many of the youth we work…

Temporary Goals

Some days you go inside expecting one thing to happen, the plan is changed, and something even better occurs. We planned a Bible Study but God had great conversations in mind instead. CB is being released in two months and he is planning for his future now. He brought me over to his cell to…

Childish Selfie

I meet weekly with a young man in a Detention Center in Annapolis. He is charged as an adult with a serious crime but has expressed sincere remorse for his actions. I don’t mean “I’m sorry I got caught” but more like “I am sorry that I made so many poor choices that led up…

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

We met Jacob (pseudonym) at the County Detention Center a few years back. I mentored him for several months before he was sentenced to a 15 year term in State prison for murder. Recently, Kim asked him to tell us the lies he believed that led to his choices and his incarceration. His response is…

Behind the Fence

It is a bit unnerving to get out of the car and leave everything in it except my student folder, driver’s license and keys. Walk to the gate, let them know I am there with unCUFFED and wait as they take down the info, hand me a visitor pass and then invite me to walk…

Making It Real

Billy had been on 4 S, the Youth Tier, for 23 months awaiting his trial and sentencing. During his exit interview, I asked him if there was anything else unCUFFED could do to for young men in the system. He said nothing, paused, and then said it would be helpful if the guys could hear…

Weddings NOT Funerals

After reading this article in the Baltimore Sun, 18-year-old man shot and killed by Baltimore police during pursuit, I was exasperated. The judge had provided leniency for this young man in court one day and he was killed the next after making the choice to return to the game. We never had the opportunity to…