Prominent prison ministry fires 72, citing economy

August 8, 2011

Prison Fellowship, a prominent evangelical ministry to inmates, has laid off dozens of employees, citing the faltering economy.

total of 72 staffers were let go as part of a restructuring that
included new leaders as of July 18. Jim Liske, a former pastor in
Michigan, is now the ministry's CEO, and Garland Hunt, a former Atlanta
pastor, is now its president.

"Like many nonprofits in the wake of
this economy, Prison Fellowship has had to deal with shrinking
resources and rising costs," said Frank Lofaro, executive vice president
of the ministry. The ministry was founded in 1976 by ex-convict and
Nixon aide Chuck Colson.

Lofaro declined to disclose the current
total number of Prison Fellowship staffers. "Prison Fellowship is not
focusing on its recent staff reductions but rather on the new season it
is embarking on for the ministry," Lofaro said in a statement.

ministry, which turned 35 in August, has worked with about 8,500
churches and 14,000 volunteers to support prisoners, ex-prisoners and
their families.  —RNS