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Free Faith-Based Television Gaining Ground in U.S. Prisons



A Trinity Broadcasting Network initiative created to impact the nation’s soaring recidivism rates is gaining in popularity with correctional officials. Launched in 2007, TBN Second Chance is a faith-based program designed to give inmates a second chance to make good choices by providing positive, life-affirming television programming around the clock. The program is fully funded by TBN, the largest faith-based network in the world, and provides up to four different channels for diverse inmate populations—along with the equipment necessary to receive them—completely free of charge to correctional and rehabilitative facilities.

Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest private prison operator, is one of a growing list of enthusiastic participants in the TBN Second Chance initiative. CCA is in the process of placing Second Chance programming into all 65 of its state, federal and juvenile facilities, a move that will impact approximately 75,000 prisoners across nineteen states and the District of Columbia.

In addition to numerous individual jails, prisons and juvenile facilities all over the U.S., TBN Second Chance has finalized agreements with officials in Texas and Florida to offer Second Chance programming in all of their state correctional facilities. According to Alex Taylor of the Florida Department of Corrections, the timing couldn’t be better. "At a time when budgetary limitations allow for fewer program opportunities for inmates, the availability of 24 hour messages of hope is an encouragement to all who work in corrections," he said.

Following success with TBN Second Chance in a pilot program, South Dakota prison officials have indicated they will now institute the program in all of their state facilities, while correctional officials in Ohio, Mississippi and South Carolina are in the process of starting up their own Second Chance pilot programs.

Through Second Chance, correctional facilities can opt to receive up to four of TBN’s faith-based channels—including TBN, the nation’s most popular and most requested faith channel; The Church Channel, which airs church services and teaching programs from different denominations; TBN Enlace USA, which offers faith programs from Latin American countries and the U.S., all in Spanish; and JCTV, the only faith-based entertainment channel in the U.S. for 13-29 year-olds.

After JCTV was installed at his private juvenile facility in Texas, Executive Director Dan Ytuarte said the effect was immediate and noticeable. "Wow! What a complement to our existing faith-based initiative…JCTV has opened many doors…to change the lives of our young generation."

All four TBN Second Chance channels can be received with a Ku band satellite dish and appropriate receivers, which are provided, installed and maintained free of charge by TBN. But now, through new partnerships with Buford Satellite Systems and Correctional Cable TV—the nation’s two largest providers of correctional cable—prisons and jails already using their services can opt to receive up to four TBN Second Chance channels, which the companies have agreed to integrate into existing channel lineups free of charge.

"We are honored to have these multiple opportunities to offer the Second Chance program to viewers who can truly benefit," said Amy Fihn, Director of TBN Second Chance, "it’s a unique tool for prisoners, one that can help bring them to a healthier level emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Our goal is not only to provide help for inmates now, but to prepare them for future success when most of them will re-enter society."

More information on the TBN Second Chance program is available at www.TBNSecondChance.org.


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