Kairos Torch offers unconditional love and acceptance, encouraging young men and women to share their life journey through participation in a long term mentoring process. The program begins with a weekend retreat inside the prison. Torch team members commit to a weekly mentoring process with the youthful offenders for six months after the weekend.
Crime among youthful offenders is the most rapidly growing segment of corrections. The number of institutions for youthful offenders has doubled since 1995. This presents a unique opportunity for the Church to be physically present in ministry to this segment of the incarcerated community. Kairos has developed Kairos Torch to facilitate ministry to youthful offenders.
Kairos Torch is an introductory two-day program for youth ages 25 and under who live in juvenile detention or correctional facilities. The weekend is a combined effort of an ecumenical, Kairos Torch Team to introduce young men and women to Christian concepts as a means of making better choices for their lives.
An ecumenical Christian team presents 72 hours of intense interaction with incarcerated youth. There is good food, music, and time to reflect on who they really are. Each young person is encouraged to remove the masks that they wear and see themselves as God sees them. After the Kairos Torch Weekend each inmate participant will be mentored for six (6) months. The mentoring is done by the volunteer members of the Kairos Torch Team. As a mentor you will be trained and provided with a mentoring manual that guides the mentor and mentee through the mentoring program. You will not be alone. There are plenty of experienced hands to guide you. The Christian centered mentoring is conducted with the rest of the Team in one of the juvenile or correctional facilities.
Through unconditional love and affirmation the incarcerated youth will begin to see themselves as God sees them: as unique, special, and created in the image of God. With their masks off they will be better able to make positive choices for their lives. This will, in time, decrease the violence in our cities and begin to relieve crowded prisons.
For each young person who does not reoffend, society gains a productive citizen instead of the $31,371.75 per year cost it takes to house a prisoner. This is the vision of the Kairos Torch weekend and mentoring program. Ask a current Kairos Torch volunteer, they will tell you of the many success stories, of young men and women who have applied the lessons learned in Kairos Torch to their lives and are now free in the world.