Family Outreach

Families are often in as much or even more need than the prisoners themselves. Dismas Ministry recognizes this and created a resource book for the families.

Keeping Hope:  A Resource for Families and Friends of the Incarcerated

By Karen Heuberger and Ron Zeilinger of Dismas Ministry

Content based on actual interviews with spouses, family members, friends, prison ministers, and the incarcerated. Interactive reflections that help the reader to probe his or her own feelings and fears. Specific directions for questions to ask and procedures for visiting and writing inmates. Extensive resources with contact information for every state. This new title truly helps all involved with  “keeping hope”.

Family Resources

Recommended by Families


  • Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit of Hope, Healing and Forgiveness by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Tom Lagana
  • Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick J. Carnes, PhD
  • The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
  • When His Secret Sin Breaks Your Heart: Letters to Hurting Wives by Kathy Gallagher
  • Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions by Gerald G. May
  • Illuminata books by Marianne Williamson
  • Books by Carol Kent
  • A New Kind of Normal: Hope-Filled Choices When Life Turns Upside Down
  • Between a Rock and a Grace Place: Divine Surprises in the Tight Spots of Life
  • When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances
  • Books by Dale S. Recinella
  • Books by Dr. James P. Gills, MD
  • Devotional books by Sarah Young
  • The Service Network for Children of Inmates Book List (American Library Association) –

Web Sites


  • Bureau of Prisons web site:
  • Dismas Ministry – provides scripture, faith, and prayer resources to inmates, and information to families of the incarcerated
  • Family and Corrections Network – a network for those concerned with families of the incarcerated and a forum for disseminating information –
  • Children of Prisoners Library (CPL) – provides free information sheets designed for people serving children of prisoners and their caregivers. Pamphlets may be downloaded without charge from the Family and Corrections Network (FCN) web site. Duplication is permitted and encouraged, so long as the materials are not altered or sold.
  • Prison Fellowship –provides services and support for inmates and families –
  • Angel Tree –provides Christmas gifts for children of the incarcerated –
  • Sesame Street’s Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration – provides resources for young (ages 3-8) children of the incarcerated to help them and their families deal with the challenges they face –