We receive dozens of notes and letters from students every week, giving us glimpses into their lives. Some of their stories make us smile and warm our hearts. Others offer a sobering reminder of the darkness of prison life and the brokenness of our world.
As the world has been reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Crossroads team moved their offices to their homes, which was quite a drastic change. But in prisons and jails, the changes were even more dramatic. Visits stopped. Programs stopped. Most prison facilities were placed on lockdown, and some people were locked in a lonely cell for twenty-three hours a day.
Still, students continued to send us letters. Some have shared how this time of isolation has worn on their souls. Some have expressed hope and gratitude. Amid all the uncertainty, many students have expressed deep faith and shown incredible endurance. We’ve shared these notes with our staff, and we want to share a few with you. You can read scans of these actual letters from students in our Letters from Lockdown publication. DOWNLOAD HERE
As you read these letters—some encouraging, some heartbreaking—we encourage you to lean into any tension you might feel. Praise God for the way He is moving in prisons all over the world, but don’t give up on praying fervently for the people represented by these words. Don’t stop praying for an end to mass incarceration in our nation.