Connect with us

Local News

Prisoners in Conway County are finding new paths in life thanks to faith behind bars



Morrilton, Arkansas – Inmates at the Conway County Correctional Center are given a second chance to start over in life thanks to the chaplain’s efforts to foster faith in the institution.

Even whether a person is in jail or in a mentally troubled state, according to chaplain Kevin West, Christ is always present. The hospital reportedly shut its doors to several resources, such as chaplains, for two years due to the pandemic but began reopening them last year.

With 77 offenders, the institution is assisting some of them in finding their path and a second opportunity, according to West.

“We help them get through some of the things they are struggling with,” West said.

“We have baptized 14 since the first of the year that are at the detention center,” West said.

He claimed that after speaking with prisoners, he had found a pattern in the frequency of arrests and incarcerations.

“Right now, in the state of Arkansas 80 to 85 percent are there because of drug offenses,” West said.

According to West, using recovery bibles teaches inmates the 12-step program.

“Since I started in December, it’s exciting to see the excitement in them to know that they can be free of the addictions,” West said.

Craig Beck, the host of Leaf Ministries Radio, said he is well aware of second chances and discovering faith at the incarceration center as West continued to discuss the development of the facilities there.

“I have been in that jail and not been able to leave years ago,” Beck said.

After learning about Christianity, Beck said he was inspired to join Leaf Ministries Radio and wishes to give other prisoners hope when they are released.

“(Help inmates) see that hope is out there and you can get through anything,” Beck said.

In order to further assist offenders in finding a new direction in life, West plans to expand a recovery program inside the jail.

“Have it (recovery program) be led by different recovery groups, so they can build relationships with these inmates and bridge that gap between the detention center and back out,” West said.