The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana will sponsor a 3-Day Prison Ministry Conference, Proclaiming Hope in the Age of Mass Incarceration, beginning at noon on March 27, 2017, and ending at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

The host site for the Conference will be St. James Episcopal Church, 205 N. 4th St. between Florida and Convention Streets in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana  70801

Registration can be made online at or by phone to Rev. Peggy King Scott, 225-638-8433

Registration fee of $145 includes three meals, refreshments, materials, and chartered bus ride to Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, Louisiana on Wednesday, March 29, for a prison tour, conversation with prison inmates who have become ministry leaders within their prison walls, speaker panel discussion, and a closing service of worship.

Hotel accommodations can be found in downtown Baton Rouge within walking distance of St. James Church.  The Hilton Capitol Center in Baton Rouge, 201 Lafayette Center in Baton Rouge, LA, 1-800-955-6962, will offer group rates using code STJ “St James Episc” until March 5, 2017.  We urge early reservations, as hotel space remains in high demand as a result of the Flood of 2016 which affected this geographic area.

The Conference seeks to reflect theologically upon the issues of hope, justice and freedom; to engage a national audience in conversation concerning incarceration ministries, justice reform, and re-entry of former inmates into society; and to strengthen networks among faith-based, governmental and advocacy groups. The Conference is designed to encourage those already involved in such issues as well as to inform those seeking understanding about such work.

Program speakers include advocates, researchers, authors, clergy, attorneys, government officials, and service providers to inmates and their families.  Confirmed speakers include Rev. Charles Allen Wynder, Jr., Missioner for Social Justice and Advocacy Engagement for The Episcopal Church; Dr. Jennifer M. McBride, Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary; Rev. Jackie Burns, Benedictine oblate and Coordinator of Women’s Ministry Kindway EMBARK in Southern Ohio; Craig Deroche, Senior Vice President, Policy and Advocacy of Prison Fellowship; Dr. Edward Shihadeh, LSU Sociology Professor; Ms. Linda Fjeldsjo, Catholic Charities Baton Rouge and Joseph Homes Coordinator; Rev. Canon Angela S. Ifill, Missioner for Black Ministries for The Episcopal Church; Rev. Charles DeGravelles, Episcopal deacon, prison minister and author; and others addressing issues of prison ministry, advocacy, and re-entry.


11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Registration


St James Church Parlor Entrance
12:00 noon Welcome and Holy Eucharist

The Rev. Canon Shannon Manning, Canon to the Ordinary Diocese of Louisiana

The Rev. Canon Allison DeFoor, Canon to the Ordinary Diocese of Florida

St. James Church


1:30 – 2:15 Overview of Correctional Institution Reforms

Charles C. deGravelles, Jr.,  Author, Teacher, Prison Chaplain and Deacon, Diocese of Louisiana


St. James Church Parlor
2:15 – 3:00 Analysis of Three Case Studies in Three Different States

Dr. Amy Levad, Associate Professor of Moral Theology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN


St. James Church Parlor
3:00 – 3:30 Break



St. James Church Parlor
3:30 – 4:15 Interrupting the School to Prison Pipeline

The Rev. Canon Angela S. Ifill, Missioner for Black Ministries, TEC


St. James Church Parlor
4:15-5:00 Monks Behind Bars

Sister Greta Ronningen, Benedictine author of Free on the Inside: Finding God Behind Bars

Rev. Dennis Gibbs, Prison Chaplain and Director of Prism Restorative Justice, Los Angeles, CA


St. James Church Parlor
5:00 – 5:15 Stretch Break


5:15-5:45 Workshops

Advocacy Matters – Jill Sullivan, Advocacy Volunteer Coordinator, Prison Fellowship

3rd Floor Conference Room

Ministry Inside: The Basics 

3rd Floor Bishop’s Reception Area


St. James Spirituality Center

(across the street from St. James Church)

6:00 Dinner


St. James Church Parlor
6:45 Theological Reflection on Prisons and Prison Education

Dr. Jennifer McBride, Associate Dean and Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics, McCormick Theological Seminary

St. James Church Parlor



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Time Event Place
7:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist


St. James Chapel of the Twelve Apostles
8:15 a.m. Coffee and Refreshments St. James Church Parlor
8:30 – 10:30 Risk Assessment Metrics for Criminal Justice Reform

Dr. Edward Shihadeh, Sociology Professor and Chair, Louisiana State University

Dr. Samantha Kurtz, Clinical Psychologist, Founder of Right Time

Keith Nordyke, Criminal Defense Attorney,  Nordyke & Greenfield LLC

Panel Moderator: Dr. Marianne Giorlando, Adjunct Instructor in Criminal Justice, Northwestern State University, Louisiana


St. James Church Parlor


10:30 – 11:00 Break


11:00 – 1:00 Political Advocacy & Legislative Reform

Craig DeRoche, Senior Vice President for Policy and Public Policy for Prison Fellowship

Bruce Reilly, Deputy Director of Voice of the Ex-Offender (VOTE), New Orleans, LA

Patricia Haynes Smith, Louisiana House of Representatives, District 67

Panel Moderator: Katherine M. Mattes, Senior Professor and Director of the Criminal Law Clinic, Tulane University Law School


St. James Church Parlor


1:00 – 1:30 Lunch St. James Parlor


1:30 – 3:00


Partnerships in Advocacy Engagement

Andrea James, National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls

Eddie Ellis, Founder of One by 1, Reentry Activist

Shawntelle L. Fisher, Founder and CEO of The Soulfisher Ministries

Heidi Kim, Program Staff Officer for Racial Reconciliation, TEC

Panel Moderator: Rev. Charles Allen Wynder, Jr. Office of Social Justice & Advocacy Engagement, TEC

St. James Church Parlor


3:00 – 3:30


3:30 – 5:00 Best Practices for Faith-Based Ministries

Rev. Jackie Burns, Coordinator of Women’s Ministries, Kindway EMBARK

Linda Fjeldsjo & Carl Taylor, Catholic Charities, Joseph Homes

Rev. Canon Allison Defoor, Diocese of Florida


St. James Church Parlor


5:00 – 5:30 Evening Prayer


St. James Chapel of the Twelve Apostles
5:30 p.m. Cocktails and Social Time St. James Parlor


Wednesday, March 29

Time Event Place
7:30 – 8:00 a.m. Morning Prayer


St. James Chapel of the Twelve Apostles
8:00 – 8:15 a.m. Departure on Chartered Bus

Board Buses for trip to Louisiana State Prison at Angola

Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center

201 Lafayette St

9:00 Arrival at LSP Angola

Disembark at the gate and proceed through Security Protocols


LSP Angola Visiting Center
9:50 – 10:20 Bus Tour of LSP Angola


10:20 – 10:30 Transfer from Bus to Conference Site

Disembark at New Orleans Baptist Seminary Building for brief tour as group proceeds to Guadalupe Chapel


New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
10:30 – 11:30 Voices of Prison Administration

James LeBlanc, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Corrections

Voices of Inmates

Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel
11:30 – 12:20 Holy Eucharist


Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel
12:30 – 1:15 Lunch

Members of The Church of the Transfiguration at Angola will join Conference Participants for lunch provided by LSP Culinary Program


Main Prison
1:15 Load bus for return trip to Baton Rouge with drop off at Baton Rouge Airport



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