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Christian prison proposed in small OK town
Bobby Ross Jr., Religion News Service
November 09, 2009
2 MIN READ TIME

Christian prison proposed in small OK town

Christian prison proposed in small OK town
Bobby Ross Jr., Religion News Service
November 09, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY — A tiny town

in Oklahoma is throwing its support behind a push to build a privately run,

faith-based prison that would employ only Christians and attempt to

rehabilitate inmates using biblical concepts.

Bill Robinson, founder of

Corrections Concepts Inc., a Dallas-based nonprofit ministry, said he is living

proof of how ex-criminals can become positive influences in society, with God’s

help.

“God gave me this vision …

to go build a prison,” said Robinson, who was released 38 years ago and has

ministered to inmates since 1985.

The town of Wakita, with 380

residents, hopes to welcome 600 more if the $42 million proposal is approved by

the state Department of Corrections. A 150-acre site near the edge of town —

close to the Oklahoma-Kansas state line — has been selected and the appropriate

paperwork filed, Robinson said.

The facility would house men

who have 12 to 30 months of their sentences remaining, he said. Prisoners would

have to apply and be accepted on the conditions they would work, help subsidize

their incarceration, and accept the faith-based programs and environment.

Bible study and worship

would not be required of inmates, Robinson said.

Jerry Massie, spokesman for

the Department of Corrections, said the state doesn’t have the funds to help

support the bond-underwritten proposal, nor is he sure it can succeed if

approved.

“I think it would be

difficult,” Massie said. “There’s an array of needs the inmate population has:

mental health problems, drug addictions. Specializing … in a prison may be

difficult.”

Oklahoma operates three

correctional facilities that incorporate faith- and character-based curriculum

into their educational programs, Massie said. Those have proven successful, he

said, while “maintaining that separation of church and state.”