CRI Redmond Round-Up Follow-Up

On Saturday, 11/14/15, a great group of men & women met at the Redmond Assembly of God Church to discuss the various aspects of the CR Inside (CRI) ministry. CRI today has 3 main focuses, none of which is more important than the other, but each having their own significant place in the outreach into the ‘criminally identified’ community. (1) CRI is focused on bringing the CR program into the city/county jails, where we can reach many during their short time stay. (2) CRI is focused on bringing the CR program into the state/federal prisons, where a more long term involvement can be had including step studies. (3) CRI is focused on bringing the jail or prison inmate & their family into our community CR’s once they are released from their incarceration, and in preparing those at the community CR members to better serve the re-entering man or woman as accountability partners & mentors.

The exciting news coming away from the meeting: we now have several who are interested in beginning the effort to start up a CR at the Deschutes County Jail! For the women the contact person is Chandra Bily, 503-686-3362, if you have an interest in knowing more about this team please give her a call. For the men’s team the contact person is Paul Webb, (541) 735-5697 or, Kent Whitaker, 503-789-3756. I’ll be traveling back over to Bend in the next couple of weeks to meet with the deputies overseeing the volunteer programs at the jail. My goal is to find out what their requirements are, answer their questions on what to expect from the CR program & volunteers, & get their approval for us bringing both a men’s & women’s CR team inside once a week. Until I meet with the jail administration & get the go-ahead, we won’t know the available time slots, but so that we’re ready with qualified volunteers we’re starting to form the teams now. From the CRI side we require that a volunteer is a regular attendee of a community CR & has their Ministry Leaders approval to serve in this way. Also, the volunteer must have a minimum of one years continuous sobriety in their area of recovery & have either completed or are currently in a step study. Each volunteer must agree to the CRI Program Proposal & Commitment in writing as well.

Additionally, Scott Patterson, Ministry Leader for the DRCI CR & HGO Regional Chaplain, covered all of the great things he is involved with locally assisting the re-entering man or woman. He urged those interested to contact him for visiting the DRCI CR & if possible sharing their testimony. He also is very interested in putting a group together interested in having a HGO Mentor Training session; HGO stands for the ODOC’s Home for Good in Oregon re-entry program which pairs up interested inmates with a certified mentor in the community of their release. We are very interested in having many CR members take this training, it prepares those in the community CR’s for properly assisting formerly incarcerated individuals up to & including mentoring them. Contact Scott directly for either of these great opportunities to serve, 541-848-8419.

I love Central Oregon, the air is clean & the CR groups are passionate about recovery through Jesus Christ, the One & Only Higher Power!

Kent Whitaker, Oregon CRI Rep, NW CRI Team-Lead


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