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October 7, 2010

Coming Home--New Book Offers Guidance for Families Helping Incarcerated Loved Ones Rejoin Society

Coming Home

A new book published by the Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS) at Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center provides practical, realistic advice for those whose loved ones are returning to society after incarceration.

Coming Home: A Guide for Those Receiving a Loved One Back from Prison or Jail is the fifth book published by the Institute for Prison Ministries (IPM) at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College.

Dr. Karen Swanson, who directs the Institute for Prison Ministries, co-authored the book with Lennie Spitale, an expert on prison ministry who is also a former inmate. It includes chapters on issues for families to consider before a loved one is released, as well as relational and emotional issues families face post-release. Coming Home also discusses goals for children and families in transition and provides resources and action points to help families assist a loved one’s reintegration process.

“Roughly 700,000 individuals are released from prisons each year, and families play a key role in the success of their loved one’s integration back into society,” says Swanson, who founded and led a faith-based reentry program. “This book is designed to assist both those who are receiving a loved one home from incarceration and those coming home so that it is a healthy transition.”

Additional resources related to the book can be found on the IPM website,

Other books published by the Institute for Prison Ministries include Help! My Loved One Is in Jail. What Do I Do Now?; Sentenced: Now What?; Help! My Child’s Been Arrested: A Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Juvenile Justice System; and Staying Well: Strategies for Corrections Staff. These books, in addition to Coming Home: A Guide for Those Receiving a Loved One Back from Prison or Jail, are available at

The vision of the Institute for Prison Ministries (IPM) is to be a center for correctional ministry that encourages and equips those serving in correctional ministries worldwide to evangelize and disciple those within the correctional community. IPM works through networks, collaborations and strategic partnerships to provide leadership and training to those engaged in correctional ministries for the advancement of the Gospel.

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