Things To Know About CR Inside


A CR Inside ministry consists of introducing a weekly step-study session for 1½-2 hours to those incarcerated. Increasingly, prisons and jails are adopting Celebrate Recovery. There are individual institutions and entire corrections departments that want the program and have implemented it. Offenders are often open to Christ-centered recovery to help them overcome issues resulting in their incarceration.

Also, those who direct recovery programming have utilized Celebrate Recovery as one of various treatment curriculum offered in their substance abuse programs, activation of faith-based housing units or simply use CR as part of a prison chapel ministry program. Chaplains may be open to starting CR, but are often reluctant to initiate CR due to their existing workload.

Prison/jail officials who consider CR Inside as a viable program are encouraged to attend a well established CR in their community to assess the program’s effectiveness first-hand. Also, it provides a means to meet potential CR volunteers who can facilitate the program. To find a CR group near you go to CRgroups.


Purpose Driven Outreach:
The Purpose Driven Life spiritual growth program has been very well received among prison populations nationwide. Since 2003 this growth series has been used in hundreds of prisons and jails, and testimonies from inmates and prison officials share how lives have been transformed and In-Custody behavior has improved.

Donated materials for this program include:
• The Purpose Driven Life DVD.
• Participant guides for each group member
• The Purpose Driven Life Book for each group member
• Certificates of completion with the Chaplain’s name and facility name.

If you are interested in receiving and using The Purpose Driven Life spiritual growth program, please contact us and a member of our Saddleback Inside ministry would love to speak with you and answer any questions you may have.

Life’s Healing Choices/Celebrate Recovery
This model provides a basic introduction of Celebrate Recovery to participants based on their short-term period of incarceration. This model is based on a 120-day average length of incarceration. Typically, county/city jails or prison detention/reception centers fall into this category, which is impossible to complete a step-study curriculum.

Therefore, facilitating the 6-lesson Participant Guide #1 (Stepping Out Of Denial And Into God’s Grace) repeatedly has become the most common curriculum approach around the country. The 8-week Life’s Healing Choices small group video by Pastor Rick Warren is likewise an effective tool in introducing CR to short-term offenders.

Also, the introduction of a General Meeting/Large Group format every 2-3 weeks, utilizing live testimonies from local CR’s or “Testimonies To Go” DVD series offer offenders a solid idea of how CR’s operate on the outside.

Regardless of the approach taken above, volunteers are encouraged to provide a listing of all CR’s located in the surrounding counties as well as local clothing closets, food banks, shelters and other social service agencies on the reverse side of every lesson hand-out.


This model allows participants to complete the entire step-study process. This model is based on an average length of stay well beyond the 120-day period of incarceration and is utilized in regional, state or federal prisons.

Local CR volunteers typically facilitate the first step-study in this setting and apply the accountability partner approach to the inventory process since there is an absence of qualified sponsors.

Upon completion of the first step-study it is common, where permitted, for select offenders to become sponsors and/or step study Peer Facilitators (group leaders). Also, offenders have taken on roles as Training Coach, Encourager Coach, After-Care Coach and even Co-Ministry Leader along with the local CR volunteer.

The approved curriculum consists of the CR Inside Participant Guide. Distribution of the guide is recommended following a participant’s 3rd or 4th consecutive meeting attendance to ensure there is a commitment to both the group and their own recovery.

Information on ordering materials can be found here.


Celebrate Recovery Churches Should:
• Show Christ’s love
• Treat the person as you would all others
• Select mature sponsors of the same sex to assist the person
• Integrate them accordingly into a group, encouraging involvement in CR *
• Utilize other churches or community agencies to help with unmet needs
• Display both grace and accountability equally
• Be aware that the person has come from an environment of manipulation
• Assess their background in CR to develop both strengths and weaknesses *
• Check with probation/parole staff regarding restrictions or special conditions
• Keep on loving the person even when they are unlovable

Celebrate Recovery Churches Should Not:
• Give personal money, goods or services unless you are equipped to do so
• Offer to take them home with you
• Openly announce that the person is an ex-offender
• Deal, bargain or conduct business agreements with ex-offenders
• Allow inappropriate behavior to go unchecked
• Not appoint or place them in leadership for at least 1 year *
• Volunteer any information to others about their reason for incarceration
• Inquire why he/she was in prison/jail
• Conduct your own investigation of wrongdoing or contact the appropriate authority
• Encourage the inmate to talk against authorities (parole officer, judges, etc.)
* Indicates areas of leadership or possible leadership