Appalachian Pagan Ministry has made the decision to not return to onsite services in Ohio prisons until such time as a vaccine has been found and proven effective. This is not a decision we make lightly. We cannot take the chance of contracting the virus and spreading it, not only to our loved ones, but to the AICs we serve inside at the 19 prisons we are in monthly.
However, this does NOT mean our work stops. If anything, it has become more crucial to keep contact with those we serve inside those walls. We are sending in study material weekly, producing videos to be shown inside, as well as utilizing electronic mail. Support from the community is just as needed now to keep this going.
“The Christians have a term, “witnessing your faith”, and I feel that it is a term just as relevant to those of us who follow pagan paths. Hate comes from fear, and fear comes from ignorance. The only way to eradicate hate is to educate, and the best way to educate is by example, not talk.”– Rev. Donna Donovan
The U.S. has a staggering 2.3 million people behind bars, but even this number doesn’t capture the true scale of our correctional system. 79,000 people from Ohio are behind bars today, but Ohio’s criminal justice system is more than just its prisons and jails. 330,000 Ohio residents are behind bars or under criminal justice supervision. Today, Ohio’s incarceration rates stand out internationally. This is but one state.
At the end of 2016, 1.5 million persons were under the jurisdiction of state or federal prisons or in county jails. A majority of these persons—close to 95 percent—will return to their community.
By facilitating the practice of the faith of their choosing, programs such as ours help those incarcerated to feel a
sense of connectedness to themselves and to their own actions. Thereby, these individuals are helped to develop a positive sense of self and a sense of responsibility for their own lives and towards others.
Appalachian Pagan Ministry
Appalachian Pagan Ministry is a pan-pagan ministry devoted to building an engaged, passionate, and spiritually fulfilled community of people from all backgrounds and faiths. We are devoted to engaging and impacting one another and others, believing it is our responsibility to set an example of service.
This is where we come to “walk our talk” and educate by example. It is the desire of this ministry to show that pagans of all beliefs and faiths CAN work together to serve the greater community. “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”—-C.G. Jung
How You Can Help
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Please click Help APM to see how you, too, can help APM make a difference. Help APM
As the country responds to contain and prevent the spread of coronavirus, Appalachian Pagan Ministry is keeping a close eye on the situation. The health and safety of our participants, volunteers and staff remains our top priority. In support of broader public health efforts to contain COVID-19 and protect our community, Appalachian Pagan Ministry is suspending all on-site programming through the end of March, or further if needed. This includes all planned gatherings, workshops, prison programs, and events.
Restrictions have been placed on in-prison programming by ODRC facilities in Ohio, and in WVDCR facilities in West Virginia.
In Ohio, the restrictions are:
1. Visiting will be suspended indefinitely;
2. Volunteers entering our facilities will be suspended indefinitely;
3. Only mission critical contractors (construction, medical, food service, etc.) will be permitted to enter the facilities. Mission critical will be determined by the managing officer;
4. Staff, mission critical contractors, and attorney health screenings will begin upon entry into the facilities;
5. No outside inmate workers will be in the community; inmate workers will only be permitted on state grounds;
6. Only mission critical transfers will take place. Reception, medical, and security are mission critical.
7. In-service training will be changed to mission critical only.
8. CTA trainings will only be mission critical and those necessary for staff to maintain their positions/certifications/licensures.
In West Virginia:
“At our correctional facilities we have halted all non-attorney visitation, with phone and video visitation still available and unaffected.”
What does this mean for Appalachian Pagan Ministry and those we serve behind the walls? This means that all of our on-site visits for this month, and until further notice, have ceased. It means that all of our contact and classes will now be done via mail correspondence, electronic mail, and video visitation. We are currently working on a way to hold classes via video at various facilities. It also means that the thousands of men and women we work with are now subject to long periods of lock down, with no access to materials, so our need has increased in printing study materials and postage.
With the increased need in material printing and postage, along with the cost of video visitations, we are asking for your support. Please donate today via PayPal to www.paypal.me/sendustoprison or via CashApp to $APMtoPrison
Thank you for your support.