The Chaplain Program provides a fully licensed non-denominational minister to our county jail without cost to the taxpayers. The Ministry is fully supported by the churches and residents of Geauga County. The Chaplain is on call 24 hours a day to assist the inmates and officers. Chaplain Harry Richardson helps inmates during personal losses and tragedies. The Chaplain could be an inmate's first experience with an organized religion. The Chaplain also serves as a liaison officer between the county jail and churches of all faiths. If an inmate arrives at the county jail and desires to speak with clergy, the Chaplain will seek out a representative of whatever faith or denomination and make the necessary arrangements.
Overview of Local Ministry
Good News Jail and Prison Ministry was first established at this facility in the fall of 1995 when Sheriff "Red" Simmons formed a committee to look into the various chaplaincy programs available. Ralph Self was instrumental in bringing Good News Jail andPrison Ministry to the facility as he researched the various programs available and both he and Sheriff Simmons agreed that Good News seemed to have the best program available.
Ralph Self was then taken on board by Good News Jail andPrison Ministry to represent them as Chaplain of Geauga County Safety Center and upon completion of his training, he began his work as Chaplain and carried on until June of 1997. Harry Richardson came on board to replace Ralph who took a position in South Carolina.
Currently the ministry has 25 regular volunteers that minister to the men and women inmates on a weekly basis. In addition, there are others who help in a variety of ways such as occasional visits and grading of correspondence courses. We have also had businesses accept inmates for work release programs.
Good News Jail and Prison Ministry
Good News Jail and Prison Ministry was founded in 1961. It is nondenominational and evangelistic. The organization recruits, trains, and places chaplains throughout the United States. It currently supports the work of national correctional chaplains in 23 foreign countries. Good News is expanding into all areas of the free world. Trained Chaplains are ordained or licensed professionals. Care is offered to all inmates regardless of race, sex, religion, handicap criminal charge, or economic status. Chaplains are not paid by the correctional facility, nor are they funded by tax dollars. Support is raised through churches, businesses and individuals who recognize the need to reach these people for Christ.
Harry Richardson, Th. M.
Primary and Additional Responsibilities
1. Oversight and direction of entire ministry
2. Development of ministry to inmate men and women
3. Volunteer orientation, development, and training
4. Development of church relations liaison with religious community
5. Coordinate affairs of the religious community
Special Area Considerations
Religious inmate services, men's and women's Bible studies, and aftercare.