Prison Ministries

Ascension has hosted SMART and "The Landing Strip", a part of the Alternatives to Violence program run by the Friends for Released Prisoners. 

The work we do follows Four Spiritual Truths

  • Every inmate and prisoner is loved and loveable.

  • Every person is deserving of respect and acceptance.

  • Our true nature is fundamentally good and beautiful.

  • We are all needed in helping to heal our world.


Our mission is to bring this message to those whose lives are telling them otherwise. This is our calling.

Our History:

Rochester Interfaith Jail Ministry was started in 1971 as an outreach of the Rochester Council of Churches. As the jails evolved, and their needs changed, R.I.J.M. moved from serving as a ministerial resource to a missional project, bringing value to the inmates.

We run our groups like a college seminar. The textbook is Houses of Healing by Robin Casarjian. Groups run 7-12 weeks, depending on the needs of the facility.Each inmate receives a copy of the text, and a workbook, and is expected to read the assignments in them to prepare for each class. We watch a video made by Ms. Casarjian in a Massachusetts Prison and discuss.