Tough Guys

Love, discipline, and God's word are the best medicine for prisoners in the United States. This, at least, is the approach taken by "InnerChange," an initiative that was launched four years ago by a former inmate. Chuck Colsson, who worked for President Richard Nixon during the early 1970's before getting caught in Watergate, became a Bible-proof Christian during his incarceration. After his release, he began to spread the Word. Today, Colsson is a prominent evangelist whose organization "Prison Fellowship" sends missionaries into American jails. "InnerChange," however, has a special status because inmates who undergo this program spend the last year and-a-half of their prison term with all-day Bible studies while being trained to apply their insights in their daily lives. There are currently three jails in the United States that promote the "change from inside" - they are located in Iowa, Kansas, and Texas. "InnerChange" and other comparable initiatives have stirred up controversy. President George Bush would like to channel tax money to religious charities, but church and state are separated under the American Constitution. Georg Hirsch has followed the debate, and he visited one of the jails where hardened criminals are being converted to lambs of God.

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