Did you know that one in six people in Ohio have a felony history?
One in 175 people in Ohio are currently incarcerated.
And, approximately 2,100 people return to the local Akron area community from incarceration every year.

Our clients are your neighbors.  

Since 2004, we’ve been helping people successfully return from incarceration
to a purpose-driven life as contributing members of our community,
through our 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Restorative Justice

Our ministry is based on Restorative Justice; a collaborative relationship with the judicial system that supports our clients through restoration of identity, faith, work, health, relationships and hope. Broken Chains Ministry provides a multilevel mentoring experience for every client that includes each of the key elements of Restorative Justice.

Key Elements of Restorative Justice

Mentoring

A Barna Research, Prison Fellowship and New York University study found that most former offenders who are mentored will never commit a crime again.

Having a trusted mentor can help restore a sense of personhood by connecting our clients to the world. In addition to our experienced staff and volunteers, successful clients often help to reassure, support and guide others through the process with strength, clarity, empathy and understanding.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” ~ 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)

Work Force Development - Contributing to the Local Economy

Our award-winning Urbean Cafe workforce development program is a successful social business venture that has contributed more than one million dollars to the local economy since 2011.*

Our Clients Give Back

With consistent income, participants are able to reinvest in the community through:  

  • Payment of restitution including fines, court costs and child support
  • Contribution to federal, state and local income taxes
  • Securing and maintaining housing
  • Renewal of identification, drivers license, auto insurance and vehicle purchase
  • Support of local grocers, retailers, utilities, health care and other service providers
“America is the land of the second chance - and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life." ~ George W. Bush

Saving Ohio Taxpayers Money

The average felony relapse rate for former offenders is around 50% within the first three years of release, but for Urbean Cafe participants of 90 days or more, it’s less than 1% – saving Ohio taxpayers an average of $25K per year for every empty state penitentiary bed.

Faith – The Heart of Our Mission

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” ~ Mathew 25:40
  • We share our faith through weekly services
  • We build relationships with visitation programs
  • We offer bible study and reflection
  • We support individual faith sharing through small groups  
  • Our mentors visit weekly with men in Summit County Jail and women in the Clifford Skeen Community Based Women’s Correctional Facility prior to release
“Some temptations are only overcome with the help of a partner who prays for you, encourages you, and holds you accountable.” Rick Warren

Advocacy and Our 50-organization Collaborative

Once a client has satisfied his or her sentence and has completed any legal or court ordered requirements for release, we serve as advocates by assisting them in connecting with relevant members of a 50-organization collaborative offering a variety of services necessary to reenter society. With other faith-based and social service organizations, and with the support of our Partners we work toward a common goal to ensure a positive reentry process, reduce relapse and increase public safety.

“You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” ~ James 3:18

Identity Restoration

We assist clients with the restoration of identity and a reconnection with our community by assisting them with:

  • Restoring state identification and/or driver’s license
  • Obtaining a new birth certificate and social security card
  • Establishing a bank account
  • Making restitution payments

*As of June 2015.