“After Incarceration: A Story of Rescue,” Ensign, Feb. 2012, 77
Peter’s story is unusual.
After 30 years of being caught up in the world of drug addiction, he spent 10 months on the run from the police. He was arrested while trying to escape out a window in his home and later went to prison.
While he was there, a fellow inmate invited Peter to attend LDS worship services with him. Peter agreed. The other inmate didn’t attend after that first week, but Peter kept going—every week for the duration of his sentence, in fact. He also participated in the institute program, in LDS Addiction Recovery Program meetings, family home evenings, and other programs the Church offered at the Utah State Prison, where he was incarcerated.
Ten days following his release from prison, he was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A year later he baptized his wife and their son, and today the family is preparing to be sealed in the temple.
But again, Peter’s story is unusual. Rates of recidivism—of returning to prison or jail after having served a sentence—are high in most places across the world.
What helped Peter avoid such a return—or stagnation in the drug-centered world he knew before he became a member of the Church? Certainly his experience inside the prison was a factor. But Peter and those closest to him say that where he is today is as much because of what happened to him after his release.
To read about how ward councils, priesthood leaders, ward families, and those who volunteer inside prisons played a role in Peter’s rescue—and how they can help rescue others who have been released following incarceration—please visit news.lds.org and search using the keyword “incarceration.”