Dear God...
“The ocean is like God and raindrops are the religion. When they fall into the ocean they become one.”
Zoya Ahmed and Nurun Uddin

Imago Dei Prison Ministry
'Free to Be' Courses

Imago Dei is a Christian charity that was founded in 2016 by our CEO Tracy as a direct response to reports she was hearing from the women in prison about their experiences; namely, the lack of women specific support addressing underlying reasons behind offending behaviour. We work with women in prison aged 18 upwards providing courses, pastoral support, and mentoring.
Currently, around 3,200 women are in prison in the UK. Of these women, 31% have spent time in care, 53% have suffered emotional, physical, or sexual abuse during childhood, 46% having suffered domestic violence, and 30% were permanently excluded from school before the age of 16. These statistics show how women in prison are not only disadvantaged by their current circumstances of being incarcerated, but by their personal past experiences.  Low self-worth means that women can be manipulated into criminal activity and stops them believing that they can be any better than they feel right now.  
Since 2016 the organisation has expanded and now oversees 4 main projects, including ID Prison Ministry who facilitate our ‘Free to Be’ courses run in 3 prisons in the South East. 
‘Free to Be’ are a suite of courses that have been specifically designed to address some of the underlying issues that affect women in prison. Created for women by women, these courses provide skills and tools to empower participants to change the direction of their lives.  
‘Free to be’ courses consist of:
  • Understanding Loss, - a course exploring types of loss, grieving and how we work through this process in a healthy way. 
  • Understanding Forgiveness, - focusing on forgiving ourselves and others, guilt, saying sorry and the ability to move forward. 
  • Parenting, - supporting women in prison who have very little contact with their children, developing parenting skills by providing practical skills and knowledge. 
  • And our flagship course FLOURISH, - a women’s empowerment course that has been specifically developed for women in prison, and helps women to flourish in life despite their past.  Women learn to know that they are unique and have value, that comparison does not always help, discover what good boundaries are and how to put them in place, and to see the incredible potential they have to achieve their goals and dreams in life. 
It is Imago Dei’s vision is to see women in prisons set free from their past, living in their full potential, flourishing in all areas of life and our communities. To live in their god given potential, set free from their past, and knowing their true value and identity in life.  Much of our work is about providing the women with tools and skills that they can use to make different life choices, but also about improving self-esteem, self-confidence, and feelings of self-worth. As many women who find themselves in the Criminal Justice System feel that they are worthless, this stops them believing that they can be any better than they feel right now.

We want to see the women we work with become valuable members of society, living crime-free lives which benefit themselves, their families and society, helping to reduce re-offending rates. We aim to see them parent well and help their children grow to be successful in their lives, supported by healthy parental support, and to end generational criminality.

For more information please see:

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